Al Franken

Franken speaks: I need to be more careful

Featured image From a bunker somewhere in Washington, Minnesota Senator Al Franken issued a statement yesterday all but acknowledging the misconduct of which he has been charged this week and declaring that he’s not going anywhere. He’s sorry. He’s learned from it. He wants to make sure it won’t happen again. Franken frames his misconduct as an excess of warmth. He has hugged people in the thousands, often in crowded and chaotic »

Al Franken’s transgressions

Featured image The cliche about sexual harassment holds that it’s not about sex, it’s about power. I say it depends on the harasser, the harassment, and maybe the victim. There’s plenty of truth in the cliche, though. A good deal of sexual harassment consists of subjecting women to crude, demeaning sex-related comments. There’s no sex, per se, in that. Sexual remarks are a means to and end, with the end often being »

The Franken effect

Featured image Al Franken has fancied himself a leftist firebrand following in the footsteps of Paul Wellstone. What a dud. Franken’s true contribution to American politics now proves to be the grope and grin photograph. In the latest installment of the Franken affair, two more women offer accounts of Franken’s grope and grin maneuver. Think of them as too close encounters of the Franken kind. The testimony this time around has elicited »

Two More Women Accuse Franken

Featured image When Lindsay Menz accused Al Franken of grabbing her bottom while a photo was being taken of them, I figured he was probably toast. Politicians have their pictures taken with thousands of people, approximately half of whom are women. Grabbing a woman’s rear probably isn’t something a politician does only once. It appears now that the dam has burst, as two liberal supporters of Franken have told the Huffington Post »

The Franken factor

Featured image Al Franken remains in hiding. He holds his silence. He is, uncharacteristically, biting his tongue, hoping to ride out the storm that has followed Leeann Tweeden’s story. Franken’s scandal represents a crossover between the world of show business in which he made his career and the world of politics in which he has sought to become a champion of the left. Here former Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone was his model. »

Al Franken: The movie

Featured image I have written a lot about Al Franken on Power Line over the years. I posted this review of the Doob/Hegedus documentary on Al Franken in September 2006. The movie was a complete and utter commercial bomb (domestic gross: $102,990). Just about no one saw it. As Franken rides out the scandal deriving from recent disclosures of his past behavior, I thought back to the film. A.O. Scott reviewed it »

Franken’s non-denial

Featured image I always suspected there was more going on at the Minnesota State Fair than the livestock shows, butter sculptures, and other wholesome stuff described (at least until recently) in John’s reports. Now I know. I know that Al Franken was grabbing women’s butts because of his response to Lindsay Menz’s allegation that he grabbed hers. Franken said: I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of »

Franken at the Fair

Featured image A second woman has emerged to tell her tale of a too-close encounter with Minnesota Senator Al Franken. Her name is Lindsay Menz. Her too-close encounter took place at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, after Franken took office in June 2009. MJ Lee reports the story in scrupulous detail here for CNN. Menz’s account is supported by photographic evidence, but the misconduct she reports in this case is out »

Should Franken be expelled from the Senate?

Featured image In the years since feminists excused Bill Clinton’s misdeeds, sexual harassment by powerful men has too often gone unreported and, when reported, has not been taken seriously enough. Now, the pendulum may be swinging the other way. We may be headed for an over-correction, at least for a while. If so, I’m going to dissent now, while a Senator I abhor is in the dock. Al Franken should not be »

The Fineman reversion

Featured image Will Democrats give Al Franken a pass to preserve the double standard that is otherwise applied in their favor or cut him loose in search of bigger game? At the moment it is not clear. They are not of one mind. Hillary Clinton herself has spoken up on Franken’s behalf: “Look at the contrast between Al Franken, accepting responsibility, apologizing, and Roy Moore and Donald Trump who have done neither. »

Did Tweeden’s Reticence Cost Coleman His Senate Seat?

Featured image Last Thursday evening, I served as master of ceremonies for a dinner at which several politicians and former politicians spoke. I introduced Norm Coleman as a man who, many believe, was twice elected to the United States Senate. Today the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports Coleman’s thoughts on Leeann Tweeden’s revelations about her encounters with Al Franken in 2006: Former U.S. Sen. and St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman said he »

Where’s Al? Tom Hauser reports

Featured image KSTP has just posted the video of Tom Hauser’s report last night from Washington, D.C., on his search for Minnesota Senator Al Franken or someone to speak on his behalf. Hauser reports in his dry style, but the thing has a “Where’s Waldo” quality that any aficionado of comedy should appreciate. If you’re following the story, you won’t want to miss this. The story was posted this morning at KSTP’s »

Where’s Al?

Featured image Tom Hauser covers Minnesota politics for KSTP, our local ABC affiliate. He flew out to Washington to land an interview with Al Franken or anyone on Franken’s communications staff. KSTP’s 6:00 p.m. news last night included video of Hauser in Franken’s Senate office seeking Franken or anyone on his staff to speak on his behalf regarding his treatment of Leeannn Tweeden. Hauser found no one willing to talk with him. »

How Al Franken Sees Himself, and How Others See Him

Featured image This is the cover of Al Franken’s most recent book, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate: This Michael Ramirez cartoon refers to an earlier Franken book, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot. Click to enlarge: Ann Althouse comments: Remember when the globe he had his hand on wasn’t a woman’s breast? Last night, I was the master of ceremonies at a dinner at which several congressmen and other dignitaries »

Is an ethics investigation of Franken a good idea?

Featured image I won’t shed any tears if, as a result of Leeann Tweeden’s revelations, Al Franken is investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee for sexual misconduct. However, I don’t believe the Ethics Committee should investigate such allegations when, as in Franken’s case, the conduct occurred before the miscreant became a member of Congress — unless it involves a felony. I can be persuaded either way on the fairness and appropriateness of »

Franken’s apology

Featured image Al Franken is a well-known jerk. I would say that just about everyone who has dealt with him personally knows it, including Senator Amy Klobuchar and his other Senate colleagues. One can see the pure manifestation of this aspect of his character in his treatment of Leeann Tweeden as set forth in her powerful first-person account of his unwanted attention. Franken has issued two statements in response to Tweeden’s account »

“Al Franken groped me” [updated] [with update by Paul]

Featured image Leeann Tweeden has posted a detailed account of her sexual assault by Minnesota Senator Al Franken in 2006 (Franken was first elected to office only two years later). Tweeden’s account has been posted by 790 KABC in Los Angeles, where she works as a morning news anchor. Her account is posted here. I see no reason not to take it at face value. The incidents recounted by Tweeden amount to »