Since former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura has apparently decided not to launch a third-party bid for the Senate this year, here are some possible job opportunities the nation's most colorful, unconventional and thin-skinned former governor might consider:
• He could still change his mind and challenge incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken as he has until the end of the July 15 filing deadline to decide. As he said on CNN's Larry King Live Monday, "If between now and five o'clock [Tuesday], maybe God comes and speaks to me like he did the president, and tells me I should run like he apparently told the president to invade Iraq." But it's unlikely he will try to duplicate his come-from-nowhere upset win over Coleman and Democrat Skip Humphrey in a three-way race for governor in 1998, even though it would certainly enliven the race.
• He could take a job in the Bush administration. Who better to help beef up the Homeland Security Department than this battle-tested former Navy SEAL and professional wrestler who could personally body slam Osama bin Laden? Besides, when Bill Clinton invited him to spend the night in the Lincoln Bedroom in October 2000, he said, "It's kind of fun just hanging out with the president."
• He could work for Donald Trump. In 2000, when Trump was talking about running for president and making Ventura his running mate, Ventura told me that Trump assured him he'd have a million-dollar job waiting for him when he decided to get out of politics. But neither New York City nor Atlantic City are big enough for these two massive egos.
• He could go to Hollywood and make some real money, even though he tried that without much success since leaving office. But before becoming governor, he'd acted in films like "Predator" and "Batman and Robin." He could team up with Vermont Sen. Pat Leahy, who has a cameo role in the new Batman movie, or perhaps former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson And he could drive to work on the Ventura Freeway, which gave the former James George Janos his new name.
• He could host a radio or television talk show. He had a radio sports call-in show before running for governor, and then hosted a weekly hour-long radio show called "Lunch with the Governor." As he told Talkers Magazine in October 2000, "When I'm done being governor, I will entertain the thought of doing a national radio show." Move over, Rush Limbaugh and maybe even Chris Matthews.
• He could write his memoirs. If Bill Clinton can get $12 million for his memoirs and Hillary $8 million, Ventura ought to be able to get at least $5 million, which will pay for a lot of his favorite stogies and Dom Perignon, which he drank the night he was elected. He's already written two books, including one called I Ain't Got Time to Bleed. He could call this one, I Ain't Got Time to Lead.
• He could replace the late Charlton Heston as spokesperson for the National Rifle Association. As he told Playboy magazine in 2000, "You want my definition of gun control? Being able to stand there at 25 meters and put two rounds in the same hole. That's gun control."
• And most intriguing of all, he could run for president on the Reform Party ticket, even though he wasn't able to build a viable third party in Minnesota. After all, as he told me in October 1999, while refusing to rule out running for president in 2004, "You never say never."