Run, Statesman Jesse, Run!


ABC's Jake Tapper is reporting on rumors that former Minnesota Gov. Jesse "The Body" Ventura may get into the Senate race between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken. It sure would be fun to watch:

"I'm not a politician, I'm a statesman," [Ventura] told Wineheads. "I do one term, and then I go back to the private sector. If I get back into the fray again this year, it's only because I've been gone five years back to the private sector. That's what I did when I was mayor. That's a statesman. That's not a career politician."

Ventura said of Coleman, "the guy has not had a job in the private sector his entire adult life. He's been collecting government checks since the day he got out of law school and went to work for the attorney general's office. So when Norm Coleman tells people in the private sector he feels their pain, how? He's never been in it. At least Al Franken knows what the private sector is. I would like to send him out and get a real job in the private sector."

Ventura called Franken an opportunist and a carpetbagger. "He hasn't lived here in 30 years, and he's only coming back to Minnesota for the convenience of his own political agenda. Why didn't he run in the states he was living in? Clearly, for being a Harvard graduate, he's not too smart on taxes, is he? Everybody laughs, saying I came from wrestling. But at least I knew when I wrestled in 40 states, I had to pay taxes in those 40 states. You just have to do the paperwork. I find it unbelievable that someone who could go to Harvard didn't know that or let it slip. Blaming his accountant is worse, because now he's turning into a politician. He's not accepting responsibility for his actions."

Polls currently have Coleman beating Franken 52 percent to 40 percent. With Ventura in the race, that turns to Coleman with 41 percent, Franken with 31 percent, and Ventura with 23 percent.

More here.

Tapper's 1999 bio of Ventura here.

reason's Q&A with Ventura here.

reason's Damon W. Root on Ventura's "long, sad decline" into 9/11 paranoia among other things, here.