“If you’re a fan of pure political theater,” said Jeff Fecke in Blog of the Moderate Left, “it does not get any better than this.” Former Minnesota governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura is suggesting he will enter the U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and his Democratic challenger, comedian Al Franken. Franken is trailing badly right now, and Ventura beat Coleman in the 1998 gubernatorial race. But, “can lightning strike twice?”
Ventura made Minnesota “a national laughingstock as governor,” said Ed Morrissey in the blog Hot Air. The ex-wrestler’s “one single accomplishment” as governor was bipartisanship: “By the end of his term, Republicans and Democrats both hated him.” This sounds like a Ventura publicity stunt, but if he does run, he’ll siphon off the crucial youth vote from Franken.
True, a Ventura run could “end up being the nail in Franken’s political coffin,” said Reid Wilson in RealClearPolitics’ Politics Nation blog. But Ventura is entering the fray because he opposes Coleman’s support of the Iraq war. If his “vitriol could be directed solely at Coleman,” Franken “may find new life as the one candidate not wholly despised by the electorate.”
Whomever he helps or hurts, “it’s going to be fun” to follow this smackdown, said James Oliphant in the Chicago Tribune’s The Swamp blog. And that’s great news for political enthusiasts—“ever since Hillary Clinton dropped out of the presidential race, politics have been, well, a little dull.”