ST. PAUL -- Gov. Jesse Ventura casts a wide net of blame on people he believes are trying to hurt his political career in the first chapter of his new book.
"Starting from the moment I threw my hat into the gubernatorial ring, the traditional political power brokers have been doing everything they can think of to knock me out of power," he wrote in the book, titled "Do I Stand Alone?"
He believes he has been harassed, and more than any other governor, because he's independent and powerful.
"I'm a threat," he adds. "And they have to take me down."
Still, politicians' "hatred" of Ventura is understandable because he's jeopardizing their comfortable careers, he said.
Members of the media have no excuse for the way they have treated him -- "ready to go on the attack whenever they see an opening," he said, adding that sordid headlines make money.
And don't forget the public -- they're to blame, too.
"It's not just the politicians and the media that make this job difficult," Ventura writes. "The average American has no idea what kinds of things you have to endure today to serve in public office."
The book, subtitled "Going To The Mat Against Political Pawns And Media Jackals," is to be released next month. The text of the first chapter has been posted on his publisher's Web site, www.simonsays.com.
Ventura made national bestseller lists with his first book, "Ain't Got Time To Bleed," released last year. That book was a sort of chronicle of his life prior to being elected governor.
His tales about visiting prostitutes and losing his virginity on a bet drew some criticism in his home state and nationally.
From the tone of the first chapter in book No. 2, it's likely to cause a stir, too.
He uses most of the space to praise himself and what he has accomplished, recounting his meetings with various political officials and others over the last two years.
"It's incredible to me that less than two years ago I was more or less a political nobody, and now I'm rubbing elbows with people in America's highest offices," Ventura dictated to a co-writer, Julie Mooney, earlier this year.
He talks about a trip to the White House and a visit from Vice President Al Gore.
"He (Gore) canceled his meeting with party caucuses that morning so that he could have a breakfast meeting with me," Ventura wrote.
Now a "political expert," Ventura mentioned that he was a keynote political speaker at Harvard last year.
"And these kids were hanging on every word I said," he said. "Alan Dershowitz, who was in the audience, told my literary manager that my 'performance was most impressive."'
Ventura says he is fighting for everyone and that his strength is in the silent majority of people who don't necessarily speak out, but who are listening.
Ventura also outlines the rest of the book, saying he will talk about snags in the political system that keep it from working the way it should.
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