Al Franken channels Castro

The Minneapolis Star Tribune worshipfully reports that Al Franken entertained Twin Cities Democrats yesterday at a fundraiser for John Kerry: “Al Franken: Comic relief for campaign season.” In the account of Patricia Lopez, however, the most striking feature of Franken’s talk is not its hilarity — the yuks sound few and mild, to say the least — but its quasi-Castroite ninety-minute length.
Indeed, based on the evidence of the story, Franken appears to share not only Fidel Castro’s gift of gab, but also Castro’s sense of humor:

As a stump speech, it was a little…unusual. In town for a John Kerry fundraiser on Wednesday, comedian, political commentator and possible U.S. Senate hopeful Al Franken let loose with an unsparing, funny and often salty assessment of the Bush administration, the Republican Party and the man he might challenge in 2008, U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman.
Speaking at what was billed as a “Goodbye Norm” luncheon, Franken started out by referring to Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent profane comment on the U.S. Senate floor, saying that “if Vice President Cheney were here,” he would doubtless recommend an anatomical impossibility, provoking gales of laughter from the 800 DFLers in the audience at the Prom Center in Oakdale.
Franken also excoriated one of his favorite targets, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, saying that statistics used on Limbaugh’s show were “pulled directly” from Limbaugh’s lower regions. Throughout his 90-minute speech in which he pounded mostly against the Bush administration, Franken teased about the possibility of a 2008 run against Coleman, but he said that ultimately he was “a long way off from making a decision.”
A Minnesota native who has spent much of his adult life in New York, Franken said that if he took on Coleman, “I’d be the only New York Jew in the race who was raised in Minnesota.” Franken grew up in St. Louis Park; Coleman was raised in New York.

The Star Tribune does not report how much those in attendance paid for the privilege of listening to ninety minutes of jokes of this caliber.


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