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California and the West | MIKE DOWNEY

A Man Who Can Put the 'Pow' Back in Superpower

November 11, 1998|MIKE DOWNEY

I haven't been able to get it out of my mind that the people of Minnesota just elected as their new governor a professional wrestler, Jesse "The Body" Helms.

Sorry, I mean Jesse Ventura.

I have no prejudice against professional wrestlers. I believe a professional wrestler should be entitled to as many rights as any other subhuman.

One of my high school classmates even became a professional wrestler. He called himself Count something. He wore a black cape and was carried to and from the ring in a coffin. Had he really put his mind to it, today he could be governor of Illinois.

Gov.-elect The Body won the Minnesota election fair and square. (I realize that the referee's back was turned when The Body whacked the St. Paul mayor across the skull with a chair, but this is certainly no fault of the voters.)

As governor, The Body Ventura will serve his constituency to the best of his ability. And if any of them don't like it, he will crush their windpipes with his boot.

I see only one potential danger.

The Body might not be governor long.


Because now that the new Gopher governor has seen what is possible in this great United States of America of ours, there is no stopping him. He can go all the way.

The 2000 presidential campaign is coming up, and there is no clear front-runner.

Al Gore will probably represent the Democrats.

(And by the way, Al Gore would be an excellent name for a pro wrestler.) Young George Bush might represent the GOP.

(And that's exactly the way he should market himself, as "Young George Bush." Otherwise, many people in Minnesota will be confused and think they're voting for Old George Bush.)

Dan Quayle could still be a factor, but that would be just like voting for a professional wrestler.

No, the field is wide open.

I believe The Body Ventura could be just the alternative candidate Americans are looking for to take this nation into the 21st century with the leadership and dignity it deserves.

We need strength.

We don't need wimps who dodge their military duty and waste their time playing prissy sports like golf.

A wrestler is just the kind of kick-ass president America needs, to maintain our position in the world as a superpower, capable of kicking the butts of all our opponents, including Saddam & Son.

The Body could be the answer.

He won the Minnesota election as a third party candidate. I can't remember exactly which third party, but I believe it was either the Reform Party or the Cro-Magnon Party.

Republicans could recruit him. They need a new party leader, now that Hulk Gingrich has fallen.

Democrats could also be interested. The guy they've had in the White House since the 1992 election could be known as "The Body," but it would be for all the wrong reasons.

Then again, perhaps America is finally ready for a third party candidate.

We have seen what Democrats and Republicans can do. I am pretty sure that, just as with professional wrestlers, we would love to see a lot of these people take a flying leap.

Terrorists won't fear Al Gore or Young George Bush. They are reasonable men and will behave reasonably.

But they'll fear Minnesota Gov. The Body.

Throughout the globe, the word will get out that the next president of the United States could be the toughest ever. If a terrorist is caught in the act, he will not be taken to jail. He will be brought directly to the Oval Office, where President The Body will pulverize him with a series of well-placed elbows and knees.

In fact, The Body Ventura and his Cabinet members, Secretary of Defense Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Secretary of the Interior Rowdy Roddy Piper and Secretary of State Gorilla Monsoon, would put aside their personal differences to introduce an effective new "Peace Or We Will Destroy You" global policy.


Minnesota is a trend-setter. Out here in California, we might elect an actor to be our governor, but no Minnesotan would ever sink that low. You betcha.

Gov. The Body will make Minnesota shape up. Anybody who refuses gets a one-way ticket to the Mayo Clinic, pal. I mean, this guy will veto your teeth.

I welcome The Body's presidential run.

He might lose the debates, but it could be fun afterward, seeing him put Tipper Gore in a headlock.

Mike Downey's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Write to him at Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053, or e-mail

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