Franken Sense

Well, it’s official: Al Franken is going to run for Norm Coleman’s seat in the U.S. Senate.  Franken is not assured of getting the nomination from the DFL party, but I have to believe he has a strong chance.  Regardless of whether his opponents are Dems like Mike Cerisi or Coleman in the general election, Franken is not someone people will want to run against.

For starters, the guy has big-time name recognition.  Aside from the obvious benefit that gives to someone on a ballot, it also means he will have no trouble raising money both locally and nationally.  It’s going to be a huge money race no matter who is running, because by definition it will be a swing race in a swing state.  But Franken pumps the media attention and fund-raising up several notches.

Franken’s biggest advantage, however, is just who he is and what he does.  Al Franken is smart and funny, but beyond that he’s a writer who is media savvy and has been paying attention to the way the media operates in the political arena.  I don’t think much will get by him.  Not only would you not want to debate Al Franken, you certainly wouldn’t want to trade quips or quotes with him through the media, either.

I think it’s very likely that at some point, perhaps several points, Franken will be too candid or flippant about a response and much discussion will ensue about whether he’s “serious” enough about the job.  He’ll have to overcome those moments if he’s going to win.  But Al Franken’s secret weapon is that his life, his career, isn’t riding on winning an election.  He can afford to speak the truth, or at least his truth, and that’s going to go an awful long way with a lot of voters in this state.

Maybe he’ll be too volatile, or miscalculate with his staff or policy positions.   Maybe people will decide he’s too offensive–all of these arguments will be made in force, starting with the claim that he’s “too angry”.

But I think if you were to ask Norm Coleman who he really, really doesn’t want to have to run against, he wouldn’t say Mike Cerisi.   I think Al Franken scares the GOP to death.

I’m pulling for Franken.  Damn, that would be a fun race to watch.

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8 Responses to Franken Sense

  1. martha says:

    Yay! Coleman is such a weasel.

  2. Steve Collins says:

    I have a feeling you’re going to find that Franken will be much less snarky and funny when campaigning. He was good friends with Wellstone, and he wants this seat back in democrat hands badly.

  3. Collins says:

    By the way, check out Al’s video on his new website. It’s actually quite good.

  4. Brien says:

    You’re spot on about the GOP being afraid of Franken. Hannity talks about him all the time, a sure sign of fear. Smart, knowledgable and funny. A bad combination for the pompous obfuscators that make up the Repulican party these days.

  5. mrfares says:

    I ran out to Google up a Tom Davis photo or something like that and found this page which makes me think about how much things have changed in a decade or two.

    College clubs can make web sites that look really good.

    Mac democrats have had to organize.
    http://www.macalester.edu/macdems/2006/05/see-al-franken-tom-davis-and-leo.html
    Weird. I thought only campus Republicans did that.

  6. pipelineblog says:

    And look at all the liberal rags they link to!

    I’m loving the Coleman Chameleonic Conversion 4.0, or whatever number we’re on. Democrat to win the St. Paul Mayor’s race. Republican to run for Senate post 9/11. Votes with Bush virtually all the time when Bush ratings are high. Breaks with GOP when he sees the writing on the wall. Truly a man of the moment.

    Should be fun for him come 2008.

  7. martha says:

    I had never even heard of College Dems or Young Dems until I left Mac. I guess times are changing…

  8. Becky O says:

    I changed my teaching schedule for this spring for 2 reasons: 1) I get to sleep later and 2) I got to listen to Al on the way to work on Air America. Now, I only get to enjoy sleep. I sure it’s nice that he is running for office and all, but wasn’t that selfish of him to not be on the air for ME anymore?

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