Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Franken Closes in on Senate Run

In a light blue state like Minnesota, even Al Franken could be a legitimate candidate. And it sounds like he's laying the groundwork for his candidacy:

Comedian Al Franken has reached out to Democratic lawmakers from Minnesota in recent days, seeking advice on a possible Senate run against Republican Sen. Norm Coleman next year.

Franken, a veteran of "Saturday Night Live" and radio show host, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he's called all of the Democrats in the delegation.

"I didn't call Coleman," he deadpanned. "I want to mainly touch base and get advice and counsel on certain issues."

Franken said he's also been reaching out to campaign veterans, pollsters and others to get their advice. While people have been encouraging, Franken said, they've also warned about possible pitfalls.

One in particular, Franken relayed: "It's unknown how people will respond to a comedian running for the Senate. I need to figure out a way to let people know I'm extremely serious about Minnesotans and their lives..."

Franken has a prickly side, and if his recent performances are indicative, it sounds like he's as angry as he is funny. And he has had problems at public appearances - including a drunken rant at a comedy show, tackling a heckler at a Howard Dean rally, and getting into a shoving match with the producer of a successful radio show.

Apart from that, the chair of Minnesota's Republican party pointed out a few years ago that Minnesota voters are likely to be reticent to buy into a 'star' candidacy only a few years after being disappointed by Jesse Ventura.

I bet that the Minnesota Democratic party would prefer to see a mainline up-and-coming elected official, than the mercurial Mr. Franken.

Expect the guys at the Powerline to cover this in far greater detail.

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