Get ready for more Minnesota madness. Six years after last making the state a national laughingstock as governor, Jesse Ventura may enter the race for US Senate. Jake Tapper at ABC News reports on an interview the former wrestler gave at NPR, along with an immediate clarification from Ventura that no one knows what he will do — which is not exactly breaking news:
In an interview with NPR’s David Welna that ran today former Gov. Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Ind-Minn., sounds like he may run for Senate, challenging incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., whom Ventura defeated for governor in 1998, as well as Democratic nominee and former Saturday Night Live humorist Al Franken.
Ventura, born Jim Janos, tells Welna that the main reason he would run is because of Coleman’s support for the war in Iraq. “That’s the reason I run,” he says. “I run because it angers me…All you Minnesotans take a good hard look at all three of us. And you decide: if you were in a dark alley which one of the three of us would you want with you?[“]
This explains his political career here in Minnesota. He appeals to the idiots who think that a Senator or a Governor should be able to perform as a bodyguard. In 1998, he managed to convince 38% of the voters here with this kind of logic, which rightfully had the rest of the nation in stitches. He then managed to avoid working as much as possible; for a few months, he announced football games for the WWF-affiliated XFL league rather than focus on his elected position as Governor.
Ventura did manage one signal accomplishment: bipartisanship. By the end of his term, Republicans and Democrats both hated him so much that they began overriding a slew of his vetoes, rendering The Body impotent. By the time he slunk out of office, he couldn’t have been elected dog-catcher in a one-man race.
Six years later, after years enjoying the Mexican coastline, Ventura wants back — or does he?
Ventura told The Associated Press he had been speaking hypothetically to NPR, that in responding to Welna’s question about why he would run, “I gave him the reasons why I would run. But I said ultimately, it will come down to whether I want to change my lifestyle and go to that lifestyle or not.” Reports the AP: “Ventura says bluntly that no one knows whether he will run — not even his wife. He says the decision won’t be made until next Tuesday, the filing deadline.”
It sounds like a publicity stunt more than a real attempt to get back into politics. If he did jump into the race, though, the real impact would be to hurt Al Franken’s chances even more than Franken has. Ventura would probably gain the most traction among younger voters, a demographic that Franken needs desperately. In a three-way race, Franken might beat Ventura, but both would lose handily to Norm Coleman. Maybe the biggest winners in that scenario would be Minnesotans. (via True North)