We thought this was gonna be like shooting fish in a barrel. But there's a problem with trying to pin down the definitive gubernatorial pronouncement: Every time you're sure he can't top what he just finished saying, the big lug goes and opens his mouth again. We eliminated several pearls of wisdom simply on the basis of overuse, e.g., "Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat." His take on Native American treaty rights almost made the cut: "If we're supposed to go by these old hunting and fishing treaties, why can't they go out there in birch-bark canoes instead of 200-horsepower Yamaha engines and fish-finders?" As did his admonition to a single mother concerning state assistance to students: "I don't want to seem hard-core, but why did you become a parent? It takes two people to parent. Is it the government's job to make up for someone's mistake?" And as members of the local media, we couldn't help but take a long look at the observation Ventura dispensed at the airport upon his return from a governors' conference in February: "I had a great time till I got back here. I'd rather swap the Washington press for you." We were also quite taken with "Keep it simple and stupid," Ventura's discourse on his political philosophy as expressed on Meet the Press. But the governor absolutely outdid himself late last month, when asked to comment in the wake of the tragic high school massacre in Littleton, Colorado. "I believe it supports conceal and carry," he said. "Had there been someone who was armed, in this particular situation, in my opinion, it may have stabilized." Having flabbergasted just about everyone in the state, Ventura recanted the next day, hastily calling a press conference and reading from a prepared statement. But we're not taking back this honor.


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