Jesse Ventura sees a couple outsider candidates are stealing his act, the same one that got him elected Minnesota governor back in 1998.
But U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Donald Trump are no Jesse "The Body"/the governor Ventura, who told the Daily Beast that the far-left and far-right candidates are "ripping him off."
As has always been the case with Ventura, his politics are sort of hard to track in that interview, as he variously takes the side of both Sanders and Trump on different issues. But the real, hard-news headline is this: Ventura sees himself as a natural replacement for Sanders, should he lose to Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, and pledged to run in his place if the Vermont socialist drops out of the field.
"They're setting the groundwork for me because if Bernie loses, by the time we get to June, how sick are the people going to be of all these people?" Ventura said.
Ventura has made these kind of pronouncements before: Heading into 2012, he said he either wanted to be president of the United States or live in Mexico; by Election Day that year, he was planning a run for this year, with Howard Stern as his running mate.
Heading into Super Tuesday — that's today, people! — the math looks pretty grim for Sanders, who needs to win a number of states, including Minnesota, to keep his presidential hopes alive.
Sanders happened to be in Ventura's own state yesterday, rallying his supporters with a speech at the Minneapolis Covnention Center. Ventura told KSTP that the two met, and spoke cordially for a bit after the event. But then, when Ventura tried to endorse the famously cranky liberal, Sanders declined and "kind of blew [Ventura] off."
Ventura has also said he's still considering endorsing Trump, though he told the Daily Beast he doesn't like Trump's threats to start bombing the Middle East in pursuit of ISIS terrorists. (The Vietnam War veteran and action movie tough guy is, in fact, a dove-ish isolationist.)
Trump heads into today's caucus and primary contests in the opposite position of Sanders: If he does as well as projections have it, and wins in a few states, it's hard to see how U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (Florida) or Ted Cruz (Texas) could find a path to victory.
The Daily Beast also does the wonderful service of reminding us that this video is a thing that happened. Remember, of the two people in this video — from Wrestlemania XX in 2004 — one has already served in the executive office of a state that takes itself seriously.
The other is one good night away from being the Republican presidential nominee.