State surpluses and DFL majorities may come and go in latter-day Minnesota, but we're quite sure of one thing: We'll always have Jesse to kick around. Sure, he may depart the governor's residence before the broken plates and soiled sheets can be counted (no wonder he wanted to close the manse), but we don't think he'll ever really fade away.
Come to think of it, where might Jesse Ventura be four years from today? Teaching at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government? Executing the figure-four leg lock on the corpse of Andre the Giant in an unauthorized video game? Running the Office of Homeland Insecurity? Riding a Jet Ski to Fidel Castro's Fourth of July party?
We put that question to several of Minnesota's most trenchant and accessible minds and are pleased to publish their predictions. But we want more; we want to hear not just from pundits and fellow jackals, but from you, Dear Reader. Send us your guess on where Jesse will be in four years, either via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax, 612.372.3737. (Please be sure to include information for getting hold of you.) We'll print the punchiest answers in upcoming issues of the paper; the rest will appear on our Web site, www.citypages.com.
--Bill Salisbury, author of the 1999 San Diego Reader article "The Great Pretender," which challenged Jesse's claims to SEAL-dom
Cashing a check for a national radio show. He will not be in politics.
He'll be sorta like Dennis Green: He'll be on the high road, smoking a big stogy, cleaning up after Tyrel, having lots of sex with his wife, and wishing he could be half as pretty as Fancy Ray McCloney.
--Fancy Ray McCloney, self-described Prettiest Man in Comedy and local television pitchman
1. Hopefully not doing porn.
2. Considering his love of cigars, I hope President Ventura stays clear of any White House interns.
--Abraham Froman, St. Paulite
Higher office is out of the question. He will remain in Minnesota, because anywhere else he is nobody. As soon as his term is up--or maybe before, since his local governmental duties have never precluded outside employment--he will join one of the Sunday talking-head TV shows. He will claim that his being part of the media is not out of character, and that he is simply bringing straight talk and integrity to it. This will last until his audience is tired of his act or until he becomes embarrassed by the guests continuously playing upon his buffoonery.
I wouldn't be surprised if he simply became like Martha Stewart--profiting from just living. He could become Minnesota's own Ted Nugent. Justifying Jet Skis, fast cars, and pot-smoking, hobnobbing with the glitterati, guest-hosting and appearing on vacuous TV shows, and crucifying anyone who strays from the guided tour.
--Peter Kohlsaat, local cartoonist
In five years Jesse Ventura will be president of the United States. He'll inadvertently order the Marines to storm the beaches of Canada and be too busy moonlighting at his job announcing WNBA basketball games to call off the invasion.
--Tom Hauser, chief political reporter, KSTP-TV (Channel 5) and KSTC-TV (Channel 45)
Hopefully he'll have season tickets at the new ballpark and he'll be in the front row cheering on the Twins.
Jesse in four years? Bitching about the sky-high taxes and ever threatening to run for office again.
--Jimmy Gaines, Pizza Lucé deliveryman
Wrestling the corpse of Ronald Reagan, as an airport attraction for those who have to wait two days for a flight.
Jesse will be unemployed, reliving the glories of his past, and prodding his wife to make more money in the horse business.
--Sarah Janecek, lobbyist, co-editor of the newsletterPolitics in Minnesota
On the day Ventura announced that he won't seek reelection, he repeatedly said that he's looking forward to "returning to the private sector" because then he won't have to answer questions from the media. Who's he kidding? Of course he'll have to deal with the media, because four years from now Jesse will be doing the same thing that he has been doing for the last four years: Selling Jesse Ventura.