The many faces of Jesse

Tonight, Jesse appears on CNN’s Larry King Live — opposite the Home Run Derby featuring Justin Morneau — to reveal whether he’ll run for the U.S. Senate. Tonight’s viewer choice: Jesse or Justin?

What will he do? The reasons not to run, from his perspective, might be the reasons he would — he might win. Ventura was the “accidental governor” of Minnesota, when a campaign he started on a lark ended up succeeding. He and his family were uncomfortable with the lack of privacy of an elected official, but what could they do? The voters elected him.

It was little surprise, then, that he only stuck around for one term, but why would he want to put his family through it again? He says he doesn’t need the money because MSNBC gave him a fat contract for the three years after his term ended. Does he need the fame? Is he tired of surfing? For the most part, the media he hates left him alone when he moved to Mexico. If he hates it, why invite them back into his life?

Oh, did you expect an answer? I have no clue, nor insight to the world of Jesse Ventura. I’m content — for now — to marvel at his changing looks. Is there anybody not named Johnny Depp who can look so different from one gig to the next?

Of course, we had the gubernatorial Jesse…


There’s the May 2008 “looking like an older Jim Belushi” Jesse


There’s the “Run Forest Run,” Jesse…


In 2004, he had the whole black-T-shirt and Jack Sparrow look going.


In 2006, there was the Fu Man Jesse look when he got together with Kinky Friedman in Texas.


On Friday, he did an interview with CNN as “waiting to get a tee time” Jesse…


If Ventura announces he’s running tonight, the first hour of Midmorning on Tuesday will look at the impact he’ll have on the Senate race.

  • I for one would like it if he ran. I can not dare think of what the Coleman vs Franken election will look like, but added Jesse in the mix would make it fun. (Disclosure – I would like to see him run so he can use my companies’ software making Trail Blazer famous and me rich)

  • Wow, he autographed that Kerry/Edwards poster for Michael Moore. That was nice.

  • Tyler Suter


    I think it is important to consider which candidate would stand to lose the most as a result of Jesse’s participation in this campaign. It seems to me that those fiscal conservatives who might be willing to break partisan ties have already made the decision to vote DFL out of frustration with the Republican Party. With that said, I believe the largest share of Jesse votes would come from the aforementioned body of voters in addition to disenchanted liberals. This of course would be great news for Norm Coleman. I say all of this with the presumption that Jesse stands no chance of winning this election.

    When Jesse was elected our Governor, we were not at war, our economy was not heading into the tank, and voters simply did not stand to risk as much on a wild card candidate as in this election. I think (I hope) voters will take into account the significance of this senate race with the understanding that much of what Jesse would do, if elected, is unknown/not contested and one thing I believe all voters want right now are specific solutions to the problems facing us. The call for change is not as strong as the call for stability or the demand to know what a candidate plans to do.

  • Tyler Suter – Glad you brought it up.

    Why, as a voter, should I care what candidate someone thinks I might have voted for instead of the candidate I will now vote for. Yours is the standard ‘argument’ against 3rd parties and independent candidates. The fact is I vote for the candidate that best represents my views or that will achieve my goals. In some cases that means I vote for one party’s candidate or another.

    Furthermore candidates do not take votes away from other candidates they receive votes from the people.

  • Tyler Suter

    Fair enough, I just think the standard ‘argument’ against 3rd parties and independent candiddates is especially relevant in this case because of how late Jesse would be entering the race. I would normally agree with your assesment that votes are not stolen, rather votes are received, but in this case Jesse is stepping into this race without having dealt with all the scrutiny each of the other candidates faced. At this point, a voter may feel Jesse is the best option because of the issues raised prior to this point regarding the other candidates. It makes me very nervous having another candidate considering entering the race at this point.

    What also makes me nervous is that you want Jesse in the race because adding Jesse in the mix would make it fun. I assume that is not why you actually hope Jesse runs, because this race is of course not about fun. We are at war and Jesse, although it probably would not lead to anything, is for having a draft. Get it?

    To be fair, I will admit that my motives are selfish because I want Norm Coleman out of office. I think the best chance for that to happen is in a two-person race. In my opinion a three-person race ends with a Coleman victory. I actually would consider voting for Jesse if allowed more time to think about it and hear about his strategy because he brings the non partisan element to the political arena, but this is not the time.

    With all this said, I do agree with your assesment Brian.

  • bsimon

    Perhaps it is time for MPR to stop flirting with Ventura & start reporting on th MN IP candidate for Senate – Stephen Williams. Enough of the buffoon already, can’t we talk about the people who are serious about running instead of the guy who’s major hobby is annoying the press?

  • Bob Collins

    //IP candidate for Senate – Stephen Williams

    Stephen Williams isn’t going to win the Senate race. Stephen Willaims isn’t going to come close to the Senate race and there’s nothing to prevent Stephen Williams supporters, bsimon, from talking about Stephen Williams’ Senate race.

    Even THEY don’t want to.

  • bsimon

    Bob, that may be true enough.

    But, a brief history of my post.

    I wanted to rant that the IP was waiting until the last minute to see if Ventura were getting into the race, rather than picking a candidate & getting on with it. But I thought, maybe they’re actually nominating somebody. So I did a quick check – and lo and behold, they HAD nominated somebody. I was a bit surprised, as I pay attention to the news, particularly political news. As you know, I pay attention here as well. But had I heard of Stephen Williams? I hadn’t. BUt have I heard over and over and over and over and over and over and over again about how Ventura might enter the race, but wasn’t telling? As a matter of fact I had. I’d heard it many many times broadcast on MPR, on TV news, and on the web at various blogs. Point being, I changed my post to rant about the anonymous, unheard of IP candidate, who has declared and IS in the race, instead of ranting about the IP waiting for the buffoon to announce.

    In any case, please pardon me for being a bit crabby about the candidates we’re offered in this election cycle: Senator Milquetoast, a comedian and a guy nobody’s heard of. Great. Can’t wait for November, to flip my coin or write in Mickey Friggin Mouse.

  • Bob Collins

    Jack Shephard’s in the race, too. He’s the guy living in Rome. The thing is: You have to put up a serious campaign to be considered a serious candidate. You can’t just sign your name, slap up a Web site and say you’re running.

    Historically, IP candidates for U.S. Senate from James Gibson to Robert Fitzgerald have been able to get publicity and their issues across. by expending the effort to do so.

  • Charles Parks

    Jesse: I just finished watching you on Larry King live. I felt that you would say “yes” that you would run. Then when I heard your answer I became angry, and I said to myself, to borrow a phrase from Arnold, “another girlie man.” But then, I apologize, however, if people like you keep backing down, we are sure to go to hell in a hand basket. I beg of you, please have another talk with your family. Beg your son to come back home, and beg your daughter for understanding. And consult with your wife and family. The fight has to be fought inside. With you inside, others will follow. Jesse, you could start a movement to return logic into this atmosphere of insanity. I think Obama does not say entirely what he would do, and that’s smart. Why show your trump cards. I’m not God, but I think God would be pleased if you said “YES.”

  • bsimon

    “The thing is: You have to put up a serious campaign to be considered a serious candidate.”

    Then why on earth is all this attention being paid to Ventura?