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As if 2020 wasn't enough, Jesse Ventura might run for president

Jesse Ventura "shocked the world" by winning in 1998, back when being shocked by something was still possible.

Jesse Ventura "shocked the world" by winning in 1998, back when being shocked by something was still possible. Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Provided you've given up on trying to make sense of things, this feels just as reasonable as everything else these days. 

On Monday, former Minnesota govenor Jesse Ventura said he's thinking about jumping into the presidential race as a Green Party candidate. 

 

Ventura has regularly floated his return to elective politics, at one point saying he hoped Donald Trump would pick him as a running mate. By 2018, as Ventura told TMZ he might enter this year's race, he said if he did, "Trump will not have a chance." 

Ventura's political career resume consists of one four-year stint as mayor of suburban Brookyln Park, and a single term (1999-2003) as Minnesota's governor. The actor and pro wrestler's political legacy largely consists of the shocking fact that he won, period, with less attention paid to what happened while he was in charge. 

In hindsight, Ventura's support for gay rights and mass transit holds up pretty well, as does his opposition to the drug war. His bullying of political reporters sounds a lot like the guy he'd be running against for president, and his economic policy looks like a disaster. (Ventura inherited a $4 billion surplus and, just four years later, left Minnesota with a $4.5 billion deficit.) 

Here's Ventura speaking to City Pages in October 2016, when Trump winning the presidency looked, to most people, like a remote possibility:

CP: When you watch these [presidential] debates do you regret not running yourself? Ventura: No. Not at all. And I don’t watch the debates. Why would I? The two-party system created this. As long as the lemmings of the country continue to vote for candidates in a two-party system nothing will change. I can’t watch the debates. There’s nothing these candidates could say that would convince me to vote for them. I don’t vote for Democrats or Republicans. They are the problem, not the solution. I lump them together. It’s a two-party dictatorship. And the elections are fixed. I’m happy to be out of it.

And here, for no good reason at all, is a clip from 2004.