Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ventura body slams Stuart Smalley

With all this talk of "change" and "mavericks" it's easy to forgot that not so long ago there were true political mavericks, whose calls for change really did alter the political landscape.

The tone-deaf obstinance of Ralph Nadar was almost certainly responsible for the Bush presidency, and there is a very good chance that Bill Clinton would have ended up as a red-faced historical footnote if it wasn't for Ross Perot's unbalanced balancing act.

But, in terms of electoral success, the top mavericky change agent of the pre-Bush era was Jesse Ventura. Running on a platform of clever commercials, returning the state's budget surplus to the people, and humbly admitting that he wasn't up to speed on all the issues, the Body/Mind went from steroid abusing wrestling heal to Governor of Minnesota

Eye-deep in a blood feud with the local press, Ventura chose not to seek re-election in 2002.

This morning Ventura announced he will probably be joining a Minnesota Senate race that already includes comedian Al Franken. Yes, that would make two former wrestlers with ties to the entertainment industry, bad tempers and a history of making controversial statements vying for the same office. Norm Coleman, the third guy, is currently running happy laps around his office.

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