Ventura becoming less of a celebrity

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 7, 2000

After nearly two years of hype and glitz, it’s becoming apparent that Gov.

Monday, August 07, 2000

After nearly two years of hype and glitz, it’s becoming apparent that Gov. Jesse Ventura’s cult popularity across the country is petering out.

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That’s fine with us.

In the not-too-distant past, Ventura’s star was rising; he was in demand on nationwide talk shows, he was a leader of the nationwide third-party movement, and people were even pasting up Web sites to draft him for president.

As recently as last month, he was chumming around with Al and Tipper Gore, who wanted to curry favor with independent voters.

These days, however, a few symptoms of Ventura fatigue are popping up.

The owner of the Web domain name had the bright idea of purchasing the Internet address the night Ventura was elected, surely planning to sell it off when it reached peak value.

Looks like he’s waited too long. He’s been posting the sale since March, and the most lucrative offer he’s got is $1,000.

Since Ventura has consistently squelched suggestions he run for president, has the Ventura Web frenzy run out of momentum? If he’s not going to be a nationwide presence, is a Web site with his name worth much?

In political circles, too, it looks like Ventura has become less of a factor. A bipartisan group last week chose him as the second-least desirable politician out of a list of ten; only hated Pat Buchanan was less popular.

And Republicans have used the chance at their national convention to slip in a few jabs at Ventura.

It appears his victory in Minnesota is considered by many to be not a political turning point, but a flat-out fluke.

Perhaps his highly visible falling out with the Reform Party tarnished his image; and certainly, his remarks in the infamous Playboy interview did some damage.

For the nation, Ventura may be one more fad who’s wearing out his welcome – except as the occasional Leno or Letterman guest (a distinction he shares with the likes of Richard Simmons and Roseanne).

For Minnesotans, it should mean the governor pays less attention to the national scene and does more substantive work at home.

We can live with that trade-off.