The Ascent of a Politician

On the inside looking out, can Jesse Ventura win as a responsible renegade?

 

CP: HE'S ALWAYS CHOMPING ON A CIGAR. THAT'S PRETTY FREUDIAN, RIGHT?

"Well, that could indicate that there's something very satisfying to him about that kind of oral gratification. The Freudian view would be that he missed out on having a good breast [to suckle]."

Martha Rich

 

CP: WHAT DID YOU MAKE OF THE "HUNTING MAN" EPISODE?

"Again, he's setting himself apart. He needs to make himself stand out. He believes it's unique in a positive way. It's really quite immature, even childish.

 

"He's a little like the class clown, always trying to get a laugh from his classmates. Then the other kids get reinforced from that. I guess maybe the press fills that authority role for him. When he gets in arguments with them, he's just like the class clown. He becomes the hero: 'Look, I can handle the press and other politicians don't know how.' It's a little grandiose."

 

CP: ONE OF THE TERMS THAT GETS TOSSED AROUND A LOT WHEN PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THE GOVERNOR IS NARCISSISM.

"Narcissists usually aren't really aware of how they're affecting other people, or alienating them, so that could apply.

 

"You know, now he has friends he hunts and drinks beer with. But it'd be interesting to know what kind of friends he had growing up. My guess would be that he probably wasn't with the people who were always pushing and getting good grades. He was probably with the oddballs, the kids who liked to test limits, see how far they could push authorities. That idea of being a rebel--it's always an image, rather than a real sense of who you are."

 

CP: HAVE YOU NOTICED ANY CHANGES IN HIS BODY LANGUAGE OR IN THE WAY HE INTERACTS WITH PEOPLE?

"From watching him on television, it seems like he listens to people more. In the beginning, when he interrupted that university student when she stood up to ask a question, he didn't seem interested in listening. He's getting better at that. He may be getting advice from people around him about the kind of image he should project. Whether he can follow their instructions, that's another question.

 

CP: IS THIS JUST AN ENDLESSLY FASCINATING PSYCHE TO YOU?

"Well, I don't know. I'd easily get tired of being around him. I don't think I'd find him that interesting to talk to. He's always spinning stories about the military and things like that, and who knows what's true and what's not."

 

CP: THERE SURE WAS A LOT OF SPECULATION ABOUT THAT.

"I don't see why he can't just comment when he's being asked a somewhat detailed, but not overly detailed, question. Again, that goes back to this idea of provoking the authorities. I think he thinks mystery gives him an edge. He's interested in anything that gives him an edge.

 

"I wonder if he works out still. He looks like he's getting chunkier. It'd be really surprising if he's letting himself go."

 

CP: MAYBE IT'S HEALTHY, LIKE ACCEPTING THAT HE'S GETTING A LITTLE OLDER?

"I saw him on TV the other day, though, and he was wearing a SEALS cap. I wonder: Is he really wearing a military uniform because he doesn't want people to know who he is? The wrestling and the feather boas and all are part of the same thing."

 

CP: EXCEPT A FEATHER BOA IS A WOMAN'S ACCESSORY. KIND OF A FREUDIAN DRESS-UP THING?

"He would do almost anything if in his view it would challenge authority. It's very important for him to feel brave. He always has to be the hero. I wonder what his fantasies were as a kid, whether he wanted to be Superman or wanted to fly."

 

CP: HE WANTS TO BE A BRA.

"Well, that's just covering up what his real fantasies are. The question is, What is it that he's covering?"

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