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Jesse Ventura

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Annotated Bibliography

The Two Careers of Jesse Ventura: Professional Wrestler and Governor of Minnesota

Goldberg, Jonah. "Body Slam: The stupid and demagogic rhetoric of Jesse Ventura." National Review 09 October (2000): Page N/A. 1 Oct 2004 <>.


            This article focuses on the way that Jesse Ventura presents what he would like to say.  While most of the article focuses on the rhetoric that Ventura uses in his political career, there are certainly references to his career as a professional wrestler.  Goldberg discusses how the traces in Ventura’s rhetoric of his earlier days influenced his election and the support of those people who do not fully understand politics.  He also discusses Ventura’s use of his celebrity and the ease with which he could draw national media attention to benefit himself during his term as governor of Minnesota.  Goldberg makes the claim that Ventura was more interested in benefiting himself during his term while he attempted to make it look like he was benefiting the “average guy.”

            This article comes from a credible source: National Review.  This does not mean however, that the source is not filled with biases.  It is clear that Goldberg is opposed to the way that Ventura presents himself and the way that he governed Minnesota.  This article is useful though, to see how the rhetoric of Ventura’s professional wrestling career carried over and affected his governorship of Minnesota and how this was received.


            Jacobson, Mark. "A CONVERSATION WITH Jesse Ventura - Interview." Tikkun September (2000): Page N/A. 1 Oct 2004 <>.


            This is an interview between Mark Jacobson and Jesse Ventura.  The majority of the interview had to do with how Ventura felt on particular political issues but there was one very useful question.  Jacobson asked Ventura if he thought there was “more acting in wrestling or politics.”  Ventura’s response was that they were nearly equal.  This question and response will be helpful in determining some of Ventura’s ideas about his transition from professional wrestler to governor of Minnesota.  Also, the end of this article provides some background information about Ventura and his career change.  This information will also be helpful in analyzing this issue of his celebrity. 


Mcdonnell, Lynda.  “The Body Politic - Effectiveness of Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura.”  Washington Monthly June (2001): Page N/A.  1 Oct 2004 < >.


            This is an article that focuses on the politics of Jesse Ventura, however it also touches on his career as a professional wrestler and how it affected his governing.  Written toward the end of Ventura’s first (and only) term as Minnesota’s governor, Mcdonnell makes it clear that she is not fond of the way that Ventura had been carrying himself as governor.  Mcdonnell makes statements that point to Ventura’s questionable priorities: his governorship, authorship, referee career, etc. and questions which is most important to Ventura and which should be the most important.  Mcdonnell comments on the similarity between Ventura and Reagan in their job changes, but also points out the disparities between the two politainers.  Mcdonnell goes on to point out how Ventura continued to express himself throughout his term with the “colorful language” that he carried over from wrestling and that got him elected in the first place.  She ends by pointing out that following (what are seen as) slips to “The Body,” Ventura’s approval ratings decreased.  She claims that this was seen as a reminder to Ventura that at the end of his term he may have to act more as a governor to remain popular.

            This is a useful source because it shows how Ventura’s two jobs were not completely separate entities in and of themselves.  Despite the fact that Mcdonnell did not like how Ventura was governing, it is useful to see how his role as governor was influenced by his wrestling career.  Finally, Mcdonnell does give some information about the reception of the way Ventura governed on both sides of the spectrum.  This will be helpful in analyzing whether his prior celebrity status helped or hurt his election and position as governor of Minnesota.


Jonathan, Rauch. ""The body" politic - interview with former professional wrestler and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura - Interview." Reason April (1999): Page N/A. 1 Oct 2004 <>.


            This interview, published in Reason magazine not long after Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota does a great job of outlining some of the basic issues that Ventura stood behind during his term (or at least those he claimed to have stood behind).  There are a few parts in the interview where he refers to his professional wrestling career which shows that there was never a complete break from one career to the next.  This article will be useful in outlining how his professional wrestling career may have influenced things he believes in, how he expresses his thoughts and ideas, and how the public received him because of this.  He was even asked if he had “toned down [his] style” now that he was in office.  Ventura replied that he would not tone down his style and went on to state that he was asked to pose with his shirt off in a picture the day of the interview.  Ventura said that he declined this request because he was not in shape, but that he would have no problem doing so after he worked out and got in shape again.  This is a perfect example of the overlap of his two careers.  Who’s ever heard of a governor posing without his shirt for pictures?!


Shayna Hofmeister DePaul University SOC 390 Celebrity Project