The new Al Franken

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a hearing yesterday on President Trump’s nomination of Alex Azar to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Naturally, Azar received hostile questions from the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Patty Murray. In the hour or so that I watched, the nominee, a strong conservative, acquitted himself very well.

During the time I watched, Al Franken questioned Azar (at the 2:43 mark of the video at this link). He looked terrible, a few years older than the last time I saw him (and why not?).

Franken didn’t sound good, either. He struggled to explain something as basic as the subsidy logic of the Affordable Care Act. He seemed sleepy and looked distracted. At times, he had trouble finding his words. His heart wasn’t in it. This was a tame, subdued performance.

It’s news any time Franken doesn’t call a Trump administration nominee or a strong conservative a liar. Franken didn’t call Azar a liar (Elizabeth Warren pretty much did, though, in the lively performance that followed Franken’s tired one).

If this is the new Al Franken, I’m for it.

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