Jesse Ventura: “I’m still weighing my options,” will decide in April on possible 2016 campaign

Jesse for PresidentFrom the Ora.tv page of Jesse Ventura’s Off The Grid:

The Governor ponders if and when he’ll consider a 2016 campaign for presidency.  What will it take to get Jesse Ventura in the running?

I’m still weighing the options.  Why would I want to run now when you still have 12 Republican and three Democratic candidates in the field?

I’d be lost in the shuffle.  You have to time it just right.  You must wait until the parties are down to their final two, a more manageable number.

I will make the personal decision to do so in April.  From there, the option would be to go to the Libertarians and ask for their endorsement.  By aligning myself with the party, I could get ballot access across the country.  For example, if Donald Trump were to lose the nomination in July under the Republican party, it would be extremely difficult for him to receive ballot access in time for the general election.

A decision on my candidacy would have to be made in conjunction with the Libertarian party at the end of May.But I’m not going to show my hand yet.  Why would I?  I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the circus.

Jesse Ventura 

50 thoughts on “Jesse Ventura: “I’m still weighing my options,” will decide in April on possible 2016 campaign

  1. Jill Pyeatt

    Every time this guy speaks up, I dislike him more. I’ll bet he’ll show up at our convention and expect to be nominated. Why does he plan on announcing in April? Is he really going to campaign?

    Is it possible he’s sitting around waiting for us to beg him? My guess is that he’s doing that.

    I REALLY hope no one in the LNC invites him.

  2. Matt Cholko

    I’d like to see IPR adopt a policy of not covering Jesse Ventura, unless and until he officially declares that he is running for something. Stories of Jesse Ventura not doing anything except being Jesse Ventura are not worthy of coverage here, in my opinion.

  3. Joshua K.

    @Matt Cholko: IPR covers a lot of people and topics. A former state governor who was elected as a third-party candidate, and now is speculating about running for president with a different third party, is certainly the kind of topic that would normally merit attention on this blog.

  4. Rebel Alliance

    Agreed with Matt. Nobody cares anymore. Jesse Ventura has been talking about running for president for 15 years. if he decides to be more than an empty windbag, now that would be news worthy.

  5. Andy Craig Post author

    “I’d like to see IPR adopt a policy of not covering Jesse Ventura, unless and until he officially declares that he is running for something. Stories of Jesse Ventura not doing anything except being Jesse Ventura are not worthy of coverage here, in my opinion.”

    Duly noted and given the consideration “I don’t want to read about this!” comments are appropriately given.

  6. Robert Capozzi

    maybe have some fun with it…for the 40th time in 15 years, JV states publicly he’s considering running for prez, kinda thing.

  7. NewFederalist

    What a freaking gasbag! I hope he swaggers on into the convention and gets his ego handed back to him.

  8. Andy Craig Post author

    We’ve poked fun at his penchant for teasing a possible run plenty of times before, but I think he’s being a good deal more specific in 2016 than in the past, and in particular him setting a timeline for making the decision in April is new, and thus third-party news as I see it. YMMV.

    I would absolutely oppose putting him on the ticket for either Pres or VP. Nick Sarwark has also confirmed that his musings about seeking the nomination without joining the party won’t fly and would be ruled out of order (though if push came to shove I think Jesse would just sign the damn pledge on the spot and fork over his $25). Personally, I don’t think he’s going to run, and I also don’t think Bloomberg is going to run. I also didn’t think Donald Trump was ever going to really run, so after that I’m a lot less gung-ho about assuming perennial maybe-candidates won’t ever go through with it.

  9. NewFederalist

    I can’t say that I am very gung ho about a second Johnson run but I am even less enthusiastic about Ventura or pretty much anyone else who has announced so far. I wish there was a Harry Browne type person interested in running. Someone with credentials in either finance (like Browne) or academia (like Hospers before he fell and hit his head and got crazy). That is who the LP should be looking for instead of a GOP re-tread office holder or some goofy dude in a 7th cavalry uniform.

  10. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I don’t get the regular “this isn’t news” comments… this is undeniably news. Bad news if it happened but news nonetheless.

  11. Andy Craig Post author

    I think most presidential candidates end up floating trial balloons about running in cycles before when they end up deciding to actually run. So while Ventura is a particularly extreme and notably repetitive example of it, it isn’t really that unusual. Sometimes it isn’t just a ploy even, but sincere uncertainty on the candidate’s part.

    Clinton did it in 1988 (amusingly the plan was for Hillary to run to replace him as Arkansas Gov.)
    Reagan did it in 1968. Nader did it (and/or was the subject of draft efforts, often the same thing) from 1972 to 1992, before making actual bids in the following four elections. Johnson toyed with running throughout the 2000s, and Ron Paul in 2004. George Romney in 1964 (before running in 1968). There are plenty of other examples, but point is it’s probably more common than not. Rarely does somebody start contemplating a run for President and then actually do it within a single four-year cycle. If Ventura did run in 2016, he wouldn’t be the first to do so after having declined many times before. Most candidates have been the objection of at least speculation in prior elections.

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  13. Stewart Flood

    I still say that this could get the LP positive press. If he does show up — without any prior invitation — it could draw more press than we usually get. It will certainly get coverage, even if it is only after the fact.

    And when we slam him into the mat and he receives less votes than Feldman or even that guy in the 19h century military uniform get, we’ll be viewed as being much more sane than people currently give us credit for.

    Or maybe not. Is Ventura nuttier than someone stuck in the 19th century? Maybe Ventura will come in second to last and not last. 🙂

  14. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Stewart, I have been disillusioned enough with libertarians lately that I don’t think he would be last. Celebrity lust is alive and well.

  15. Jill Pyeatt

    He could/might show up, invited or not, and simply say that “important people in the party” asked him to run. No one will be able to disprove that.

  16. Stewart Flood

    With McAfee, Ventura and Johnson in the room, we might need to clear a space in the middle and let them duke it out.

    Could be a great fund-raiser. Shame we’re not in Vegas to bet on the outcome…

  17. Andy

    Those of us who follow this stuff regularly may tire of Jesse Ventura’s “Should I run or not?” announcements, but there are a lot of people who do not follow this stuff as closely as the regular readers here do, but they still have some interest in this kind of stuff, and to these people this is big news.

    I just ran into a guy yesterday who is a small “l” libertarian who supported Ron Paul in the last election, and who is supporting Rand Paul right now, and he said that if Rand Paul does not get the nomination he will vote for the Libertarian Party candidate, and he specifically mentioned being interested in the prospect of Jesse Ventura being on the LP ticket. This guy was aware of the Libertarian Party, and agrees with it, but he has never been a party member or followed the inner workings of the party. He did know that the LP National Convention is in May, and he was excited by the prospect of Jesse Ventura showing up and being a candidate for the nomination for President or Vice President.

    This was a short conversation, and I did not want to burst this guy’s bubble by pointing out some of the reasons as to why Jesse Ventura should not be on the LP’s presidential ticket.

    The bottom line here is that not everyone follows this stuff as closely as the regular readers here do. If this site is to get lots of traffic it has to appeal to people who are not minor party and independent candidate junkies like the regular readers are.

  18. Andy Craig Post author

    Good point, Andy.

    I will qualify my statement somewhat: I would oppose putting Ventura on the ticket for VP, but I could still support that ticket in the general election. I seriously doubt I could support him on the top of the ticket, though, and I don’t think it’s very likely the convention would ever seriously consider nominating him for President (even if he joined the party and was eligible). I don’t think Jesse for VP would go over much better.

    Johnson was asked by Colmes about putting Ventura on the ticket for VP. He backed away from that idea and threw cold water on it pretty quickly, while still having nice things to say about him.

  19. Mark Axinn

    Regarding Ventura’s current set of musings:

    Yawn.

    Regarding IPR comments and the junkies herein:

    Right on!

  20. Cody Quirk

    Jesse won’t certainly won’t get my vote; his ego is on par with Trump, and he shoots his mouth off often and goes overboard doing so. I thought his lawsuit against Taya Kyle and her husband’s estate was pretty fucked up and quite excessive.

  21. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Leslie Davis, you posted your book’s website twice in the same thread. It’s beginning to look like spam.

  22. Matt Cholko

    I don’t mind reading about JV. I just think it brings IPR down a notch when his name is in the headlines. He’s basically a sideshow act at this point. He’s not even taken seriously in many third party circles.

  23. langa

    As I’ve said before, I don’t think Jesse Ventura is sufficiently libertarian to be the LP’s presidential candidate.

    Having said that, I would be tempted to support him anyway, if he would agree to make his beef with Chris Kyle the centerpiece of his campaign. I would love nothing more than seeing Jesse use his celebrity to its fullest extent, in order to expose spineless cowards like Kyle and his fellow military murderers. Given his own military background, I think Ventura’s words would carry extra weight.

  24. Jill Pyeatt

    Langa said: “Having said that, I would be tempted to support him anyway, if he would agree to make his beef with Chris Kyle the centerpiece of his campaign. I would love nothing more than seeing Jesse use his celebrity to its fullest extent, in order to expose spineless cowards like Kyle and his fellow military murderers. Given his own military background, I think Ventura’s words would carry extra weight.”

    Interesting and very good point. I’m annoyed that Ventura thinks so little of our party that he thinks he can waltz in at the last minute and easily win our nomination. I don’t think that, in general, he would be a good representative of our party for many reasons. There are some things he does right, though, such as asking questions about 9/11, which I believe would resonate with many people in this country.

    I think I’ll write to him again on Facebook, and send him a link to our blog. He might be willing to be interviewed before his big April announcement.

  25. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Nick Sarwark has also confirmed that his musings about seeking the nomination without joining the party won’t fly and would be ruled out of order (though if push came to shove I think Jesse would just sign the damn pledge on the spot and fork over his $25).”

    If a majority of delegates wanted to vote for Ventura to be the nominee, presumably that same majority would vote to overturn the ruling of the chair that his nomination was out of order.

  26. Andy Craig Post author

    “I just think it brings IPR down a notch when his name is in the headlines. He’s basically a sideshow act at this point.”

    As opposed to serious politicians like Bob Whitaker and Mimi Soltysik?

  27. Andy Craig Post author

    @ 6:06

    Interesting point, though I think we all know Ventura wouldn’t have that sort of support. Still: can that be done by a simple majority? And if so, could not any rule be set aside by simple majority in the same manner? The convention and its actions can’t be appealed to JudCom, no? The Chair can enforce whatever rule, but then the full convention can simply over-rule him?

    So then, what’s to stop the convention from over-turning the ruling of the chair that a 7/8 vote has not been met, or is even necessary? If you’re right about the parliamentary procedure angle of that, i’m curious what if anything a simple majority at the convention can’t do, by simply over-ruling any chair ruling that they can’t.

  28. William Saturn

    Cody Quirk: “I thought his lawsuit against Taya Kyle and her husband’s estate was pretty fucked up and quite excessive.”

    The lawsuit was not against Kyle’s wife. It was filed against Kyle himself. After Kyle tragically died, the suit continued against his estate. Ventura was justified to bring suit based on the defamatory comments Kyle made in his book and in the media.

  29. Andy Craig Post author

    Rothbard was of the opinion, and many libertarians agree, that defamation is not a legitimate crime or tort at all, because you can’t have any sort of property right in the contents of other people’s minds (i.e., their opinion of you.)

    It would not be my biggest complaint against Jesse, but it would be another good reason to not put him on the ticket. It certainly has not helped his popularity.

  30. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Defamation in LibPar would not be a crime/tort. But is is here and people expect that things said are true otherwise they would be sued, so it makes it ticklish.

  31. George Phillies

    Tom Knapp writes ” “Nick Sarwark has also confirmed that his musings about seeking the nomination without joining the party won’t fly and would be ruled out of order (though if push came to shove I think Jesse would just sign the damn pledge on the spot and fork over his $25).”

    If a majority of delegates wanted to vote for Ventura to be the nominee, presumably that same majority would vote to overturn the ruling of the chair that his nomination was out of order.”

    Of course, those delegates would then have to persuade the Judicial Committee and state parties that the actions of the convention were valid. This will be great for popcorn company stocks. It will make Oregon look like an unstirred teacup.

  32. Robert Capozzi

    I just checked, and the “LibPar” platform is silent on defamation.

    Rothbard had many opinions, some insightful, some absolutely loopy. Defamation in solidly in the common law for centuries, for in a civil society causing undue harm to reputations and sometimes future income is to be dissuaded.

  33. Andy Craig Post author

    I could go either way on that. I thought Rothabard’s argument was compelling, and I don’t always find his arguments that persuasive. On the other hand, you’re probably right that any sort of decentralized common-law tort system will probably recognize it. I think the current situation– where the 1st Amendment heavily restricts the possible application of defamation law to only the worst, willful, and harmful examples of willfully false and malicious lies– is probably not that terribly far off.

    However, just because Ventura might have the legal right to sue Kyle, doesn’t mean it was wise or admirable for him to do it. If nothing else he brought a big huge Streisand Effect spotlight on a claim (the alleged bar fight) that few would have ever noticed or heard of otherwise.

  34. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I see absolutely no basis for a property right in the opinions of another. And I didn’t get that from Rothbard. I do agree with his reasoning on most things and disagree on others, like you Andy.

    Would a polycentric or decentralized common law system recognize it? Maybe, depending on where it started from. I think it just as likely it would not. But it would never work when the public expectation is that what is said must be true or someone would be sued, which right now, blunts the free market force of weeding out falsities. Then again, I don’t hold to IP either, so I think the people don’t hold to IP tend to also have the same position I do on defamation. I first heard Block on this, not Rothbard.

  35. P.J. Sullivan

    I think it’s interesting that Bloomberg and to a lesser extent Ventura are getting all this attention for possible third-party campaigns but Jim Webb, who is almost certainly running, gets almost none.

  36. Robert Capozzi

    ac, yes, JV going after the estate and the widow is profoundly uncool. In fact, THAT hurts him more than any malicious libel in my book.

    In some ways, I wish common law could neatly classify behaviors as “cool” or “uncool.” Demerits for uncool, I say! 😉

    And, yes, MNR could be quite persuasive as a polemicist. If one buys his assumptions, he can take the reader on quite the ride.

  37. Jill Pyeatt

    I was interested in William’s comment last night, pointing out that Ventura had sued Kyle’s widow due to defamation. What is your opinion on the topic of defamation, William, since I know the ability to speak freely is a big issue for you?

    I agree that the lawsuit may have made Ventura look bad to many or even most people, but I didn’t have a problem with it. However, I think that saying something completely untrue about someone can be quite harmful to someone’s reputation and future earnings, so I think filing a lawsuit might be appropriate in some cases.

  38. Robert Capozzi

    cah: I first heard Block on this, not Rothbard.

    me: The protege rarely counters his mentor. IIRC, Block even views fetuses as parasites like MNR, and then spun that one out into his “evictionism” tangent.

  39. William Saturn

    Jill,

    I see malicious and intentional defamation as an act of fraud. Usually it is done to hurt a rival economically. Therefore, there should be a civil cause of action for a party defamed maliciously and intentionally. However, in no way should it be a criminal act.

  40. Andy

    Chris Kyle was a lying piece of shit, and a statist thug murderer who apparently enjoyed kiilling people. The hell with him.

  41. Andy Craig Post author

    “I see malicious and intentional defamation as an act of fraud. Usually it is done to hurt a rival economically. Therefore, there should be a civil cause of action for a party defamed maliciously and intentionally. However, in no way should it be a criminal act.”

    I could probably get on board with that, but to play devil’s advocate: if anybody was defrauded by Kyle, it wasn’t Ventura. It was all the people who bought his book….. and then what, a class-action suit on behalf of anybody who ever bought a book with a lie in it? That’s a really ugly slippery slope. You don’t even have to look far to see how libel and slander laws can run amok: the UK is notorious for it. I’m pretty satisfied with they way the Supreme Court has pushed back against and whittled down defamation law on 1st Amendment grounds. Jesse Ventura is, after all, by even the narrowest possible definition a public figure and the former elected governor of a state and mayor of a town.

    On the other hand, I have a hard time saying e.g. that UVA dean slandered by Rolling Stone with a fake rape story shouldn’t have a cause of action.

  42. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Jill, it is indeed a thorny issue. I do think cases can be made where defamation crosses into fraud. Not really something I care to argue about (that isn’t to you, it is just a general statement). The potential impingements on free speech are enormous. I generally do not believe defamation is something that should be actionable, but I could be persuaded on fraud grounds in specific cases. I haven’t spent a good deal of time working on this particular issue, though I find Block and Rothbard persuasive on it. In line with Andy’s statement (much earlier today_, any current standard which requires proving actual damages, not just a mere loss of reputation are a must. This is an area I hope to spend more time researching but other issues have occupied my attention.

  43. William Saturn

    The book doesn’t specifically name anyone. In media interviews (IRRC on the O’Reilly Factor), Kyle said the story recounted referred to Ventura. Even if the book did, by itself, contain defamatory statements, anyone who bought the book could not show any material damages. Let’s say Ventura was a widget maker and Kyle wrote in his book, falsely and with malicious intent, that Ventura lined his widgets with dangerous chemicals that would kill anyone who touched them. Now, of course Ventura would have a cause of action for defamation, but would any individual who purchased the book and bought another widget also have a valid cause of action? Probably not. In this situation, other than potential de minimis harm from a consumer who purchases a more expensive widget in reliance on the book, there is no material harm suffered by anyone except Ventura, who loses customers. He is the victim of the fraud.

  44. William Saturn

    Caryn Ann Harlos: “any current standard which requires proving actual damages, not just a mere loss of reputation are a must.”

    If one can prove that his reputation is his lifeblood and that because it was harmed by defamation, he suffered economical loss, then he should be able to recover. Nevertheless, this should be a tough hurdle to overcome.

  45. langa

    I tend to agree with the consensus here, that defamation is a sticky issue, and that, while it could be considered a legitimate tort in certain situations, the accuser should bear a heavy burden of proof.

    In this particular case, regardless of the merits of Ventura’s suit, there’s no way in hell I’m shedding any tears for a disgusting piece of shit like Chris Kyle, or anyone who supports him.

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