Jesse Ventura has always had a flair for reinventing himself. A self proclaimed Renaissance Man, he has switched professions throughout the years as often as the seasons change and as spontaneously as the weather. He's been Jesse Ventura, the Navy Seal straight out of high school. He's played the infamous and unforgettable Jesse 'The Body' Ventura who wrestled his way into the spotlight. Finally, defying odds and popular opinion, he found himself Jesse Ventura, Governor of Minnesota. Who knows where he will go from here? jobpostings had the opportunity to talk with Jesse about his ideals, his influences and the fuel behind his political philosophies.
What was life like for you growing up in Minneapolis?
It was the height of the sixties when you had a cultural revolution happening throughout the country between young people and the older generation. It was a tumultuous time yet an exciting time. I think I can say very confidently that the sixties was a time when young people questioned the status quo more than at any other time.
Has your childhood affected how you have approached your career and what you have chosen to do with your life?
No, I don't think so necessarily. In high school I graduated and like many young people, had no idea of what I wanted to do. I sometimes decide to do things that maybe aren't popular. I chose to go into the military at a time when in 1969 there was an anti-military attitude out in the world.
When you went to college after the military did you have any idea what you wanted to study?
I was having fun. This is why I went to junior or community college first. I went to North Hennepin, and I went with an open mind. I took a great variety of different subjects and really didn't have a major in mind.
How did you get into wrestling from there?
When I got to college I was in the weight room a lot because I was playing football and lifting weights. I developed friendships in there and we all were big pro wrestling fans. We started going to wrestling matches in college and as typical college kids we would cheer for the bad guys. This was back in the days when it was good versus evil. We would incur the wrath of the hard core wrestling fans that would turn on us because we were cheering for the wrong people. So a couple of my college buddies saw how easily I was able to incite the crowd as a spectator and said, 'You should go into wrestling.' That's really how it blossomed.
What made you decide to run for Governor?
The State of Minnesota had a budget surplus that first year and the lawmakers spent it. I just felt a surplus should go back to the taxpayers. They don't have the right to over-tax and then simply take the money and spend it. That was really the issue that caused me to run.
How do you feel your previous naval and wrestling careers have helped you as Governor?
The navy made me tough enough to get the job done, tough enough not to worry about public opinion. Professional wrestling helped me tremendously in being able to communicate. It also made me comfortable in front of large groups and audiences, to be comfortable in front of TV cameras. It helped me much more than what the general public would think.
What was your ultimate goal as Governor of Minnesota?
That's a difficult question because you accomplish so many things. It's hard to put your finger on one, but I hoped to serve to the best of my ability and make decisions that helped Minnesota. jp