Former Gov. Jesse Ventura’s animus toward the Minnesota press corps is so well known by now, nobody in town much bothers to try to talk to The Body these days.
Which presents a unique situation when Jesse’s got a book to sell: How to hawk it?
Ventura’s still a favorite on the national cable news shoutfest circuit, so that’s one route. But for the local market, Ventura is inclined to be a little choosy. (MPR and TPT are still okey-dokey by him though.) That’s why, apparently, he recently granted an interview to … wait for it … The Midwest Wine Connection.
Huh? That tabloid sheet you see at the register of your favorite liquor house? How? Why?
According to an intro to the interview in the June 2008 issue of TMWC (we can acronym it, can’t we?), publisher Rob Hahn and Ventura have a relationship going back to June 1998, when the publication put candidate Jesse on the cover when no one else was taking his gubernatorial bid seriously.
So for that, today we get a further glimpse into the mind, body and soul of the author/possible U.S. Senate candidate. (“He talked to us,” proclaims the headline.) He’s certainly not afraid to pull punches on his two possible opponents for that seat, Al Franken and Norm Coleman.
Spoketh Ventura, according to The Midwest Wine Connection (PDF):
“I’m not a politician, I’m a statesman. 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.
“I looked up Norm Coleman’s web site, and 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.
“The fact that he’s totally created … He says all the right words. He’s in front of those spin doctors, those teachers, all the time. So he’s the quintessential stereotypical politician. … Absolutely he’s beatable, especially in this state. How can we elect someone who’s rubber-stamped the war?”
On Al Franken:
“He’s an opportunist, because he’s, what do you call it, 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.”
The Coleman and Franken campaigns declined to comment to TMWC.