These days, Al Franken is one of the more reliable sources of good news, if you’re a Republican. On the brink of endorsement by the DFL party, Franken has suffered one blow to his image after another, due to his own business incompetence and checkered past. The latest is a pornographic article he wrote for Playboy magazine eight years ago. Somewhat to my surprise, Franken’s fellow DFLers seem genuinely concerned about nominating a pornographer to the U.S. Senate:
Rep. Betty McCollum, who supported the comedian’s rival Mike Ciresi until he dropped out of the race for the party’s nomination for the Senate, complained Thursday that she and other Minnesota Democrats will be on the same November ballot as a candidate “who has pornographic writings that are indefensible.”
“Do they spend all of their time defending him, or do they spend their time talking about issues that are important to this election?” McCollum told The Associated Press in an interview. “The whole story was a shocking surprise.”
This explains the Democrats’ concerns, I think:
“I told him this is a serious problem,” [McCollum] said. “I told him my cell phone’s ringing off the hook. Union leaders call me, state House members are calling, I’ve had people in the coffee shop approach me, very concerned about this. They really feel this article is politically radioactive.”
Franken’s response is telling, no doubt inadvertently so:
“Al understands, and the people of Minnesota understand, the difference between what a satirist does and what a senator does,” Franken campaign spokesman Andy Barr said.
That’s right; and the more Minnesota voters focus on the difference between a Senator and a satirist, the more secure Norm Coleman’s re-election bid will be.
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