The Latest Column: Franken’s Ventura Headache

Jesse_venturaJesse Ventura says he’ll be “the biggest pain in the ass they have ever had on the Senate floor.”

Minnesota’s former governor is threatening to run against Al Franken and Norm Coleman for the U.S. Senate, what could make a turbulent campaign of celebrity vs. celebrity vs. vulnerable incumbent.

In an interview with Variety, Ventura outlines his campaign plans and strategy. All he has to do is decide to actually run. He has until Tuesday to do so. The print column is here.

Meanwhile, a piece of news since the column went to press. Ventura’s 1998 campaign manager, Dean Barkley, left a private sector job this week, but it’s unclear if that means that he’s preparing to go to work for Ventura or if he’s about to get into the race himself. Barkley, after all, would be running for his old seat, as Ventura had appointed him in November, 2002 to fill the remainder of Paul Wellstone’s term.

160pxdean_barkleyBarkley, right, thinks that Franken has run a “terrible race up until now,” and thinks that the comedian “is trying to be something that he is not.”

Barkley would come into the race with a unique platform, sort of California in reverse: He wants to outlaw all marriage, noting that “over half the people aren’t married” and many of the couples he knows who are are not happy.

“I would get 75% of the vote,” he says.

Still no comment from either the Franken or Coleman campaigns.

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