Ventura’s playtime ends; work must begin

Gov. Jesse Ventura’s unconventionality helped to sweep him into office. A desire to shake up politics as usual led Minnesotans to vote for Ventura. His unusual background as an actor and professional wrestler seemed to be further incentive for voters to push for this third party candidate. However, it’s time for the games to stop and the governing to begin. Unfortunately, Ventura’s recent spectacles at the formal inauguration, the students’ reception, and the people’s celebration crossed the line between unorthodox views and disrespect to the office, demonstrating he has yet to realize it.
Ventura’s inauguration had the look of any traditional ceremony, but Ventura set the pace for his gubernatorial term during his 11-minute inaugural speech. This speech, like all of his other addresses, was unscripted and included the traditional sentiments of an honest, citizen-friendly government. He concluded the speech with a rally cry of “Hooya!” — a sentiment from his navy SEAL days. By the end, his speech seemed more of a pep talk than an inaugural speech.
The day after the inauguration Ventura visited the University, arriving 20 minutes late for the affair. His main focus during this speech was education. He used quotes from movies such as “Animal House” to bring his points across. This movie centers around a group of unruly fraternity members on double, secret probation. Is this really how Ventura sees higher education?
Ventura’s most recent outrageous acts took place at the people’s celebration. Opting for a Target Center extravaganza over the traditional formal inaugural ball, Ventura arrived surrounded by an entourage of motorcycles. He was wearing a bandanna, hoop and skull earrings and a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt covered by a fringed leather jacket. Most of the spectators, who had paid $10 to $20 for the honor of celebrating with the new governor, were dressed more formally than Ventura. Some couples wore tuxedos and evening dresses, making him look more like a lazy slob than the “common people” at the Target Center.
To start off the night’s events Ventura reverted back to his wrestling days by shouting, “The Body’s back for tonight! Let’s party, Minnesota!” He stood in the middle of the Target Center stage shouting and throwing his fist into the air while sparks fell from the ceiling and fireworks lit up the arena. The entire atmosphere was more suited to a rock concert or a wrestling match. Later on in the evening Ventura added a gold and purple feather boa to his ensemble while he joined Warren Zevon, poorly singing “Werewolves of London.”
In his attempts to be one of the common people, Ventura has belittled the general public. He has used his nontraditional personality to gain support from many people. If he continues to undermine the governor’s office with his stage performances, he will soon lose his audience. Ventura’s theatrics cannot disguise bad decision making forever. It is time he showed more politics and less acting.