I always liked Jesse. I didn’t agree with about half of his policies, but I did not have the automated lefty knee jerk reaction against him that almost everyone I know had. Hey, he did after all, beat Norm Coleman in that governor’s race!
Of course, he also beat my candidate, Humphrey. But in so doing Ventura demonstrated what happens when we Democratic Farm Laborers in Minnesota get together to put up a candidate for governor: We screw it up. Humphrey was not the candidate for that election. So we got Ventura. Hatch was not the candidate for the last election. So we got Pawlenty.
I also recall that governor’s election quite well, as it was my first election here in Minnesota. Ventura was well ahead at the end of the night, but it took FOREVER for both Humphrey and Coleman to concede. They were struck with such utter disbelief that they could not admit that Ventura, a third party candidate who, only a couple of weeks before the election was thought to have no chance of winning, had indeed beaten the mainstream candidates.
I also remember that evening that Tom Brokaw of NBC news called Ventura and totally dissed him. He did not call him “Governor Elect” or ask about policy. He called him something slightly derogatory and asked him about wrestling. He called our newly elected governor and made fun of him on national TV. Brokaw’s professionalism suffered greatly that day.
Anyway, Jesse was interviewed by Larry King, and the interview of the now-mulletted ex governor is reported in the Strib. Here’s a bit of it:
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura told the nation that Norm Coleman is a hypocrite who has lost the election for U.S. senator and should give up his fight against Al Franken for a second term.
In a wide-ranging interview Monday night on CNN with Larry King and in his trademark blunt style, Ventura also called former Vice President Dick Cheney a coward for avoiding service during the Vietnam War and made a pitch for himself to be appointed ambassador to Cuba.
“Coleman’s always been a hypocrite,” said Ventura, who “shocked the world” when as an Independence Party candidate he defeated Coleman and Democrat Skip Humphrey for the open governor’s seat in 1998.
“He never does what he says,” Ventura added. “He said on Election Night [in 2008], when he won, that Franken should drop out and he should be the senator. Well, the same should hold true after the recount.”
Jesse also had some comments about Dick Cheney. Ventura, who himself has been waterboarded (we’re pretty tough on our elected officials here in Minnesota) said, “I’ll put it to you this way: You give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.”