An aside and to wit...
...Jesse Ventura may not run for President in 2000--but he wouldn't mind if Donald Trump joined the fray
September 20, 1999
Web posted at: 3:50 p.m. EDT (1950 GMT)
Maybe the meeting at the Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino is not destined to be remembered along with Yalta and Potsdam as one of history's great summits. But back in 1988, at the World Wrestling Federation's Wrestlemania IV in Atlantic City, Donald Trump met Jesse ("the Body") Ventura. The real estate parvenu was impressed by the wrestler's sense of showmanship. The two remained casual acquaintances over the years--they became pen pals and talked about golf. Eleven years later, they find themselves soulmates: each would deny Patrick J. Buchanan the Reform Party's presidential nomination. Trump is eyeing the race and has ordered up an analysis of the Reform Party's ballot-access rules.
Trump is not the only big name hovering at the party's edge. Buchanan, former Connecticut Governor Lowell Weicker, Ross Perot and Warren Beatty--each, along with Trump, has considered (casually, at least) a run. And why not? With more than $12 million in federal matching funds and, perhaps, a chance to be in the presidential debates, the party's nomination is the stage for an angry voice. There's no ideological price of admission. The party, founded by Perot, welcomes earnest centrists eager for entitlement reform as well as anti-new world order conspiracists. So each potential candidate, from the hard left to hard right, can justifiably see it as terra firma.
If Trump wants it, then it's good news for George W. Bush. For months Bush has been worried about Buchanan's entering the race as a spoiler who would pull conservative votes from George W. the same way Perot stymied his dad. Indeed, a prominent G.O.P. source tells TIME that a Bush envoy visited Minneapolis recently and spoke to Ventura allies about the Reform Party nomination. The envoy didn't explicitly push a Trump candidacy or a Ventura run--something the Minnesota Governor has officially ruled out. But the envoy did ask if Ventura would fight a Buchanan bid....