Is Jesse Ventura’s unlikely Minnesota win a road map for Donald Trump?

“He’s doing exactly the same thing we did,” Barkley said in a recent interview. “It’s like they’re reading our playbook. He visited us during the campaign and tracked the strategy we used. I’m almost flattered.”

Hopeless campaigns against impossible odds are pet projects for the devoted, the eccentric, the weird, the tinfoil-hat wearers of the American political fringe. They never win — unless maybe if we’re talking about a county commissioner — and this has been the logic that nearly all serious observers have spouted about Trump’s bid…

Reconstructing that campaign with interviews with the key players, save Ventura (who declined to speak to The Washington Post for this story) or campaign manager Doug Friedline (who has died) shows there are potent but limited comparisons.

Both relish showmanship and being in front of the camera. Both deliver blistering criticisms of the media and career politicians. Voters hold them to a more lenient standard. Both are seen to be independent of special-interest groups. Both earn points with voters for saying things that they think.

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