Points By Drew Pritt

About the potential Jesse Ventura Senate Bid
May 25, 2008, 8:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


Senator Norm Coleman (R-Mn.) has to be asking himself these days, “WTF, did I ever do to Jesse Ventura ???”

Journey with me if you will back to October 1998. At that point, both Coleman and then-Attorney General Hubert H. “SKIP” Humphrey III (DFL), scion of a famous political family and son of a former Vice President and Democratic Party Legend, thought the Governor’s race in the fall was supposed to be a traditional 2-party affair. However, Ventura, a former wrestler and professional bodybuilder had snuck up from behind and was closing in on both Coleman and Humphrey. The poll had Humphrey at 35%, Coleman at 34%, and Ventura was at 21%, with 10% undecided. The more ominous sign is that Humphrey was dropping, Coleman was dropping more, and Ventura was rising. Long story short, Ventura squeezed past them both with about 37% to Coleman’s 35% and a sad 28% ended the Humphrey legacy. A good portion of Ventura’s gun-owning, anti-choice, “traditional values” voters would have been likely supporters for Coleman. As we know, Coleman ran four years later for U.S. Senate, the incumbent Paul Wellstone died once more in October tragically in a plane crash, and Coleman narrowly defeated another former Vice President, Walter F. Mondale, narrowly, while Ventura’s party nominee, Jim Moore, took 2% away from Coleman.

Now flash forward a decade since his stunning Gubernatorial Victory and once more Ventura reappears. As Coleman is seeking a reelection against a strong challenge from comedian Al Franken, the former Governor says he may run for Senate. Appearing on Minnesota Public Radio, Ventura insists he is seriously considering a bid. Franken has been having trouble lately because he supposedly didn’t pay all his taxes. But now it comes out that Coleman accepted money from lobbyists for the government of Myanmar. These are the same Generals of Myanmar who murdered Bhuddist monks by the thousands, forced their citizens to vote instead of giving them aid after a cyclone killed over 200,000 people, and the same Myanmar Generals who dynamited a building and murdered 5,000 students and monks who had been protesting for a bothersome issue of FREE SPEECH.

Editor’s NoteSenator Norm Coleman you have no business serving in the Senate from Minnesota if you don’t return that money. You can preach about “traditional values” and say anything you want, but you are a hypocrite. Even more so, for the seat that once housed Paul Wellstone and prior to that Walter Mondale & Hubert H. Humphrey to now be held by you is an insult to every Minnesotan who came to expect good government and quality representation under them.

So the potential for a Ventura Senate bid endures. If Ventura doesn’t run, former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley (I-Mn.) who Ventura appointed to succeed Wellstone until Coleman was elected and sworn-in, and who was Ventura’s campaign manager, has said he’ll run. For Ventura, the local prognistcators seem to think Ventura’s bid will hurt Coleman. As one blogger from Minnesota wrote, “a pro-military, libertarian, fiscally conservative, small government figure with no ties to Bush II would drain Sen. Coleman’s pool quicker than a toddler who shook loose of his swim dipe.”

So we will have to see what develops. I am finding it hillarious. Ventura basically has pointed at Coleman like Babe Ruth at the plate and sees Coleman like a baseball he is fixing to launch out of here. Coleman meanwhile smiles, nervously, while Al Franken seems to be having fun.

Last year, I was a campaign manager for Jim Cohen, and early in the primary I was trying to help Cohen turn that race around. I subsequently ended ties to the campaign and left Minnesota. Mainly because Cohen had a female supporter who wanted to be campaign manager. When Jim hired me this spiteful woman searched the internet for two days with another female staffer to find EVERY negative thing she could find about me and proceeded to destroy the campaign and my relation with the staff. Jim supported me but I ended up leaving after a week because it was such a bad situation. Jim is a great man who would make a great candidate but he didn’t have the money that Franken had and thats the ballgame. Franken for his part I got to see Franken up close and listen to him. He is a good man and he would make a great Senator who I believe would wake everyday looking for ways to improve the lives of the working families of Minnesota.

This Senate race is already a marquee race but if Ventura enters, I hope win or lose, he does the one task that must be done – Defeat Norm Coleman!


3 Comments so far
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Even though you have left Minnesota, since you used to be Jim Cohen’s campaign manager, I am really surprised that you didn’t have a picture or mention of Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer. Surely you must have heard some of the forums and debates, which usually ended with the other candidates saying, “Like Jack said.” You must be aware that both Jim Cohen and lawyer Mike Ciresi have dropped out of the race, since it became obvious that Jack was picking up the endorsing convention delegates that they both wanted. You may not realize how close the endorsement race is right now, in fact. Watch what happens at the June 7 convention. I think you are in for a surprise, and I hope you find it a good one. Jack is a superior candidate and would make one of the best senators in quite a long time.

Comment by Charley

Jesse Ventura will be my guest on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com at 5 PM New York time Monday June 16.

To talk to Ventura or to just listen in go to my blog, http://www.garybaumgarten.com and click on the link to the show.

Comment by Gary Baumgarten

A lifelong Minnesotan until 6 years ago, when I moved to Maine, I remember Jesse two ways-as the ass-kicking, tough-talking blowhard who did little more than blow smoke up both parties’ behinds, and on the other hand, a genuinely decent person behind the Mega-theatrical one, who, for all his other faults at least championed the beginning of light rail in the Twin Cities, something the DFL and Republicans talked about for 30 years but never did a damn thing about unitl Jesse slammed it through. Al Franken, also a showbiz guy, is funny but I don’t think would make a very effective senator. Norm Coleman is nothing more than, as Garrison Keillor said, “an empty suit”. Without a doubt, Ventura more than the others, would advocate for veterans’ benefits and rights more than the suck-up Coleman who has spent the last six years eating Bush’s leftover breakfast and waiting for his morning scratch.

Comment by Jay Peterson

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