Minnesotans come to grips with their decision

November 05, 1998|By KEVIN COWHERD

LET'S SEE if I got this straight: Minnesota's new governor is Jesse "The Body" Ventura?

C'mon, is this an AP typo?

They elected a former pro wrestler?

To the highest office in the state?

Who's the lieutenant governor: George "The Animal" Steele?

If the new governor has a policy disagreement with a legislator, what does he do -- smash a chair over the guy's head?

If the mayor of Minneapolis gives him a hard time at a fund-raiser, does the guv body-slam the poor slob and stomp on his chest?

If I may take a moment to address the citizens of the great state of Minnesota, which I used to think of as a visionary, progressive state, the first thing I'd ask is this:


Do you people realize what you've done?

Listen to me: You have just elected as your governor a guy who used to walk around in floral-print shorts, feathered earrings and a feather boa!

A guy who used to wear a do-rag and goofy shades and spit at the pencil-necked geeks in the crowd!

Yes! I saw this on TV!

With my very own eyes!

This is your new governor!


Tell me something: How does any sane human being walk into a voting booth and push a lever that says "Jesse "The Body" Ventura?

OK, now let's try something else here.

You people in Minnesota, I want you to repeat this phrase after me: Governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura.

Does this sound comforting to you?

Does this sound like the kind of brilliant, far-thinking statesman you want leading The Land of 10,000 Lakes into the 21st century?

When people sit around the dinner table up in Minnesota and the talk turns to, say, education reform, does anyone actually pipe up: "Well, I like Gov. Jesse Ventura's plan for that"?

Look, I can't even type Gov. Jesse Ventura without laughing.

Yet you people voted for him like he was ... like he was Hubert H. Humphrey, for God's sake!

(Poor Humphrey, tell me he isn't turning over in his grave. The Happy Warrior's kid, Hubert H. the Third, gets waxed in the gubernatorial race by Jesse "The Body" Ventura. There's a political legacy you want to hand down from one generation to the next.)

Anyway, in the giddy aftermath of his shocking upset Tuesday, Governor Ventura made a few brief remarks that I think perfectly set the tone for his administration.

Facing a battery of TV cameras and microphones, Governor Ventura announced that though his nickname in the ring was "The Body," he now wants to be called "The Mind."

Yes. "The Mind."

Oh, by the way, Governor Ventura also told the media he hadn't slept since an RV caravan tour of the state last weekend.

That's all you need in the statehouse: a cranky, 250-pound former steroid abuser who goes without sleep for days.

Good luck, Minnesota. If you hear of any aides being thrown out of a third-floor window in the governor's mansion, it shouldn't come as a total shock.

I want to know one thing: What kind of campaign did this guy run that so enraptured you people?

This is Jesse "The Body" Ventura, for God's sake! It's not Jonas Salk!

Maybe it's like Letterman said on TV the other night. Maybe you were taken by The Body's bold campaign slogan: "Combining the wise economic stewardship of Hulk Hogan and the progressive policies of Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka."

Anyway, all you people in Minnesota who voted for this guy, I want you to envision something.

I want you to envision thousands of cars and buses filled with tourists coming to your great state over the next four years. As all these cars and buses near the border, they'll come upon a sign. It will be a tall sign, a colorful sign, a proud sign as befits a proud state.

And there, in huge block letters, it will say: "Governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura and the citi- zens of Minnesota welcome you!"

Tell me something.

How are you people going to live with a sign like that?

Pub Date: 11/05/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.