- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 3, 2011

VENTURA VENTURE

“Am I going to run for office again? Right now, I might say ‘no.’ But I’ve learned after 59 years on this planet that you never say ‘never.’ If Congressman Ron Paul called me, I would consider being on his ticket. Whether I’m in as president or vice president, we’d have to flip a coin,” Jesse Ventura tells Inside the Beltway, brimming with admiration for the Texas Republican.

The former Minnesota governor has much to say. He has a new website (www.weaintgottimetobleed.com) and his new book “63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read” hits bookshelves Monday. Mr. Ventura is making appearances in Manhattan all week, having flown in a private jet from his home in a remote area of Mexico.

“I’m suing the Transportation Security Administration on the grounds they violated my rights under the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures. So I’m not flying commercial,” he says, vexed that even as a former Navy SEAL and state governor, he is still treated as a security risk and sent through airport scanners.

Mr. Ventura, who hosts “Conspiracy Theory” on TruTV, is a big fan of WikiLeaks but dismisses the mainstream media. He blames CBS’ “60 Minutes” for the “downfall” of news after the network discovered it could make big ratings and ad revenue from dramatic coverage. Mr. Ventura also contends that the press has failed in its traditional watchdog role, “creates rather than reports news” and has “dumbed down America” by focusing on celebrities rather than mportant issues.

“And idiots like Bill O’Reilly on Fox News won’t have me on their show. Think about that. Fox News won’t have me on the air, but Al Jazeera will put me on any day. I think that Al Jazeera is a lot more ‘fair and balanced’ than Fox News,” Mr. Ventura says.

“And all these knuckleheads who want to run for president, like Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. Do we really want stupid people to run?” the former wrestler demands. “The greatest thing Americans can do to save our country is to stop voting for Republicans and Democrats. Both parties have been bought out by corporations. I mean, has anyone ever wondered why every secretary of the Treasury in recent years came out of Goldman Sachs?”

RE-ELECTION FEVER

Observers have deduced that President Obama is poised to file his re-election papers with the Federal Election Commission. Like, soon - possibly Monday in a terse little email to followers with hullabaloo to follow. Major fundraising events in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York already are scheduled throughout April; the “Obama 2012 Victory Fund” is being established, says Chicago Sun-Times political writer Lynn Sweet.

And the timing? Not so prudent, perhaps.

“With all of the speculation surrounding the presidents re-election announcement, does the White House believe it is ‘good optics’ to formally kick off the presidents re-election campaign during negotiations to keep the government open, a budget battle for the next fiscal year and unrest in the Middle East?” asks the Republican National Committee.

CREEPING UP

Uh-oh, the honeymoon apparently has ended.

“The GOP election bounce appears to be over, with more American adults in March identifying themselves as Democrats than Republicans for the first time since October. Now, just 34 percent of adults consider themselves to be Republicans. Thats down three points since December and just over a point lower than a month ago. The number calling themselves Democrats rose to 35.3 percent from 34.3 percent in February.”

(From a Rasmussen Reports tracking survey of 15,000 adults conducted from January to March and released Friday.)

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