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Commentary: Governor stars on 'Young and the Restless'

Jesse Ventura blew into a Hollywood version of Genoa City, Wis., last Monday, and set the stage for the 2004 presidential elections. It could be the team of Jesse Ventura and Victor Newman, or, and we're not sure of this, it might end up the team...

Jesse Ventura blew into a Hollywood version of Genoa City, Wis., last Monday, and set the stage for the 2004 presidential elections. It could be the team of Jesse Ventura and Victor Newman, or, and we're not sure of this, it might end up the team of Newman and Ventura. Whichever ego prevailed seemed to be the initial stumbling block in this pending drama.
Are we dealing in Fantasyland here? One never knows for sure when it involves Gov. Jesse "the Mind" Ventura.
TV writers of America's popular daytime drama "The Young and the Restless" deviated from their usual script to make room for Minnesota's governor. He was on a fact-finding mission to California, and took a moment of his valuable time to drop by the set to visit the pontifical star of the series, Victor Newman.
With Jesse's unbelievable popularity throughout the country, a brief segment featuring Jesse with Victor Newman was quickly written into the script, and Jesse performed like a pro. (Well, of course, he is a pro.)
We can see the headlines now, "Dream team offers hope for soap junkies" or "Egomania polarizes 2004 presidential ticket." Either way, Jesse "the Mind" or Jesse "the Body" will go down in history as one of the most colorful politicians ever to serve in the state capitol.
When all the window dressing is faded, Ventura could well be remembered for some interesting and successful challenges to an engrained political system that is begging for change.
Let's get back to the "Young and the Foolish (oops, Restless)." In the revised scene, Jesse barged in on the engaging Victor just a step ahead of security officers. "What the ha-ha-hell are you doing here," said Victor with a smile on his face.
After some pleasantries, Victor indicated he had a bone to pick with Jesse. He was disappointed that Jesse was not running for president this year.
And then came the bombshell, with Jesse suggesting that Victor join him in 2004 for a "Dream Team" Americans could not turn down. After some colorful and patronizing conversation, interrupted by Nikki, Victor's ex-wife twice, or is it three times, it was conceded that the egos of Ventura and Newman would just be too much for the country to handle. End of scene.
Enough of Fantasyland for the moment. You have to give Jesse Ventura credit for his mastery of the moment. Here is a guy who has been ridiculed by the nation's know-it-alls, and yet Minnesotans are smiling this week with neat sales tax refund checks in their hands. Ventura can appear on the nation's top news programs and the captivating "Young and the Restless" series with professional acumen, and most importantly, he has a competent staff behind him to keep the wheels of government in balance.
During the past legislative session, with some successes, he counterbalanced a strong-willed DFL majority in the Senate and a diverse yet challenging Republican majority in the House of Representatives. It wasn't easy, and he didn't lose his cool and body-slam anyone.
He fought hard to get a unicameral constitutional question on the ballot, but to no avail. We sense he will be back again in January with a new approach.
Is Jesse Ventura for real? He certainly has been visible, and amid smiles and smirks, he is putting Minnesota in the national spotlight on a continuing basis. What's wrong with that?

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