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MESSAGE SENT

Nov. 13, 1998

It appears as if the age of the career politician is ending--or so it seems from recent election results. Minnesota voters elected a former wrestler, Jesse 'The Body' Ventura, as governor.

Already, people are worrying about the fate of our nation's 20th-largest state. Aside from all of the jokes, what bad outcome are people fearing from it?

Realistically, would any politician, former wrestler or not, get upset at an official function and throw a chair at an ambassador?

All this hullabaloo has a deeper meaning. While many college students, many of them voters, grow weary of the Bill Clinton scandal or Newt Gingrich in the House, they turned out in droves to vote in Minnesota.

Other than wrestling, Ventura's credits include a four-year term as mayor of Brooklyn Park. And he fulfills the only two requirements of being the governor-- being a resident of the state for more than a year and being older than 25.

But why vote for Ventura? Because he's 'cool?' If that was anyone's reason, why vote? Not withstanding, Ventura carried every age group less than 60 and every income level less than $100,000, according to exit polls.

We aren't trying to send a signal to our officials that we want them to be pro wrestlers. Instead, want them to be real and have a purpose. Say what you believe in, and work with integrity--that is our message. If it takes a former entertainer, so be it. It's happened before with Reagan and Bono.

Students, be aware of whom you're voting for and why. America is looking for different qualities in its leaders, and you can't choose the best candidate just by looking anymore.

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