In an NPR interview, Jesse Ventura sounds like he's in the US Senate race against Al Franken and Norm Coleman though he hasn't formally announced yet.
He's already coming out with vintage Jesse comments. He calls himself a statesman in an interview with The Midwest Wine Connection. "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."
He criticises Coleman for not working in the private sector and calls Franken an opportunist and a carpetbagger.
And when saying who Minnesotans should vote for he says, "And all you Minnesotans take a good hard look at all three of us and you decide if you were in a dark alley which one of three of us would you want with you."
That last comment makes me wonder what qualities Jesse believes a US Senator should have -- wisdom and good judgment or the ability to win a street fight.
A poll already show Ventura with 23% of the vote in three way race. With Coleman polling 41% and Franken polling 31%. In a two way race between Coleman and Franken the numbers are 52% to 40% respectively.
I think Jesse hurts Franken more than Coleman. Coleman's a known commodity while Franken isn't. Some say Ventura would be a big threat to Coleman because he's polling at 23% support versus 7% before he started to run for governor in 1998. I think the analogy breaks down because Ventura is definitely a known quantity when in 1998 he wasn't. I think some people who supported him previously won't do it again after our experience with him as governor for four years. I do think Coleman has to take him seriously and can't underestimate him which he probably did when running for governor in 1998. Anything could happen in today's turbulent political environment.
It will certainly prove to be an interesting and and entertaining race with a former comedian and a former professional wrestling in the ring with our incumbent US Senator.