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  • Writer's pictureFred

The Ballad of Jesse Ventura

And so it begins....

Earlier this week, NBC News had this little tidbit: Democrats Prepare to go to War Against Third-Party Candidates.

Why go to war with candidates that traditionally draw 1-3% of the vote? In their heart of hearts, Democrats don't think that Joe Biden can lose to Donald Trump one-on-one. They attack him over and over and over, call him the devil, yet Trump still pulls around 40-45% in polls.

If someone, <ahem ahem> (RFK Jr.), jumped in the mix, Democrats believe that person could strip away some of Biden's support. So literally one day after the NBC News story, CNN took the ball and ran: Opinion: Will RFK Jr. lob a ‘Hail Mary’ to Aaron Rodgers?

Now I don't believe the Aaron Rodgers story for one second. What RFK Jr. was doing was a bit of old fashioned public relations, but partisan hack Arick Wierson wasn't having any of it. "This week’s revelation that the former Democrat-turned-independent is considering drafting New York Jets’ quarterback and fellow conspiracy-peddler Aaron Rodgers as his running mate makes his quixotic bid for the White House seem all the more unlikely. In fact, it smacks of desperation."

Uh no-

Editor's Note: What kind of a name is Arick? Your parents think they're clever? If they were truly clever, they would have given you a better name and not misspelled it.

-every time any candidate flirts with a name vice-presidential candidate, the benefits are two-fold:

  1. Free Publicity - Every Candidate can use free publicity.

  2. Free Market Research - A Candidate that causes recoil amongst certain constituencies is information you need to know before a decision should be made.

The more intriguing name dropped besides Rodgers was Jesse Ventura. How so? The wrestler-turned-politician knows the third party secret of spinning straw into gold. Used with permission from Beacon of Speech in 2016:

"The year was 1998 and the state of Minnesota was in a state of agitation. Well, as agitated as they get in Minnesota. The race for governor pitted 2 politicians against each other that had less than stellar support. It was crystal clear to all voters that Norm Coleman, former St. Paul mayor, was a young, hungry politician. To me, and many others, he was a young, future politician-for-life. To put it more bluntly, he was a weenie. A recently switched Democrat-turned-Republican, his polling numbers were not that great running head-to-head against the Democrat leading the pack, Hubert Horatio “Skip” Humphrey III. But Humphey III had multiple problems of his own fending off multiple challengers on the Democratic side. If the name Hubert Humphrey sounds familiar to you, it’s because Skip’s Dad was the 38th Vice President of the United States, who was also a Minnesota Senator, and for sports fans, his was the name on the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome before it was demolished in 2014. For Minnesotans, there was no more clearer name for the status quo than Humphrey.

As the primary battles of 1998 unfolded, famous Wrestler/Actor/Navy Seal Jesse Ventura jumped into the race. He started polling in the double digits in June of 1998 as Coleman basically iced his side of the nomination and Humphrey struggled to hold off his Democrat party competitors. Ventura’s polling started not so much based on policy, but based on name recognition and the dissatisfaction of the electorate. In September of 1998, as Coleman and Humphrey both finally locked down their nominations, Ventura’s polling first started to hit the 20% range. 20%. If memory serves correct, that was the magic number. From then on, clever commercials, court cases, and likability snowballed Ventura’s candidacy throughout the fall, as the electorate believed that casting their votes for Ventura was not a wasted vote. “Don’t waste your vote on politics as usual,” was Ventura’s tagline.

I don’t remember Ventura ever being ahead in the polls. But I do recall him being within a stone’s throw in November. People believed in the third party candidate and Humphey III seemed to be getting more unpopular by the day. Coleman had the energy, but sometimes that came off as someone who was trying to sell you a used car. There was a palpable feeling in the air on Election Day that Ventura was the longshot horse, sprinting way out on the outside lane while Humphrey and Coleman jockeyed on the inside. The media, of course, turned the day into a circus, but as the dust cleared Ventura had won the counties with 8 of the 10 largest cities in Minnesota. The final tally was stunning, with Ventura taking the popular vote 37% to Coleman’s 34% and Humphrey’s 28%.

Now I have to state the obvious out loud. It is much easier to win the Governorship of Minnesota than to win the Presidency of the United States due to popular vote straightforwardness versus electoral vote mechanisms.

Don't get me wrong, Kennedy isn't selecting Ventura either, he's just picking his brain.

But when you think of the word KENNEDY, do you think of Democrats or Republicans? Now me, I think of the greatest punk band in history, the DEAD KENNEDYS, but I digress.

The simple word Kennedy SHOULD strike fear in Biden. If you are a casual voter, who doesn't vote but every four years and doesn't really pay attention to the process, Crazy Trump vs Old Biden vs "Safe" Kennedy SHOULD lean to a historically recognizable name. A name that evokes Americana.

Outlets like CNN have to beat the drum long and hard that RFK Jr. is not a warm Kennedy Blanket, comforting senior voters, RFK Jr. is SUPER Crazy. CNN also has to convince you that any vote not for Joe Biden is either a Wasted Vote or a Racist Vote.

That's the way the game is played. Let me tell you a story about the 2016 election. There was a young reporter at Rolling Stone named Tessa Stuart. Her politics were far left, like many Rolling Stone reporters, and her personal politics probably most mirrored Green Party Candidate Jill Stein. But instead of championing Stein, Stuart pulled out the knives and wrote The Case Against Jill Stein.

But guess what? In 2016, a vote for Jill Stein was a wasted vote. Just like a vote for Hillary Clinton was wasted. The Case Against Jill Stein was all about voting against Trump as much as it was voting for Hillary.

What's Stuart got up her sleeves for Biden this election cycle? Biden Should Probably Be Worried about RFK Jr. I expect The Case Against JFK Jr. article to come out around Labor Day. Her argument? This election is too important for a third party candidate. (Just like every election in the modern era, according to the Democrats and Republicans.)

I am telling you, the 1998 Minnesota Scenario can still work for JFK Jr. If he can get to the 15% threshold, he has a puncher's chance. That's the number needed for the Presidential Debates. Squaring off against a near-comatose Biden and a rambling Trump, JFK Jr. can climb 10-15 percentage points in one night and show the country a mentally coherent candidate, even if you don't agree with what he says.

If you're Joe Biden's Campaign Manager, you can't let him debate anyone. If Trump wants to debate, say he's too crass. If Trump is stupid enough not to debate for whatever reason, RFK Jr. would still be in the wings. If RFK Jr. is at 15%, you change the rules to debate to 20%. If RFK Jr. is at 20%, you change the rules to debate to 25%. Remember, the political parties control the process of the debates, not the candidates.

If I were Jesse Ventura, this would have been my advice to RFK Jr. "Get in those debates! Get the best lawyer you can and get on that stage. If you're turned away, show up anyway at the doors of the event like Ralph Nader did in the year 2000. If Biden won't debate, find any microphone you can and call him a coward. If no one listens to you, show up in a feather boa and zany sunglasses, that way even if they're making fun of you, they are still talking about you."


Just as I was about hit the Publish button, the name Nicole Shanahan was leaked to the press as yet another RFK Jr. possible running mate. Don't believe that either.

My dream scenario? Cheney and RFK Jr. both get traction and Trump and Biden come in third and fourth. That would really do serious damage to the 2 party system.

Which was Jesse Ventura's vision all along.

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2 bình luận

20 thg 3

Cheney? You're F-ed in the head, Fred.


Htos 1av
Htos 1av
20 thg 3

"Wierson" was where i stopped.

Every. Single. Time.

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