Al Franken

Al Franken: The movie

Featured image I have written a lot about Al Franken on Power Line over the years. When Franken returned to Minneapolis to test the waters for a career in politics before a paying DFL audience in June 2005, I was invited to attend as a member of the press. I wrote up my account of the evening in “Saturday night live with Al Franken” and foresaw his political viability in Minnesota. In »

The pathetic case of Al Franken [UPDATED]

Featured image Jane Mayer writes about Al Franken’s downfall at the hands of the #MeToo movement. The piece is called “The Case of Al Franken.” It’s obvious that Mayer believes Franken didn’t do much wrong and that he shouldn’t have been pushed out of the Senate by his fellow Democrats. Mayer doesn’t come right out and say so. However, she makes her position clear by (1) noting that a number of Democrats »

Amy Klobuchar does Special Report

Featured image Senator Amy Klobuchar — Minnesota’s own 2020 Democrat presidential candidate — appeared for an interview on Special Report with Bret Baier yestereday. The video clip is accessible here. I thought the interview showed Senator Klobuchar’s at her best. She was likable. She did well. Her campaign theme — we need to stop governing from chaos and move to opportunity — needs some work. It seems to me to have been »

Keith Ellison and Al Franken, compare and contrast [UPDATED]

Featured image Paul Kane of the Washington Post compares the reaction by leading Democrats to evidence of Keith Ellison’s domestic abuse with the reaction to evidence of Al Franken’s sexual touchings and harassment. He finds a disparity. In Franken’s case, Sen. Kristin Gillibrand forcefully called for an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee within hours of the first accusation against the then-Senator. So did Sen. Kamala Harris. Both made it clear they »

Al Franken, Minnesotan?

Featured image Al Franken purported to represent Minnesota in the United States Senate for nine years, but he had to pretend to come home from New York to run for office. After being driven from the Senate by his fellow Democrats at the beginning of 2018, has he ever returned to his purported home state? Apparently not. A local television station inadvertently gives the game away: Sen. Al Franken returned to Minnesota »

Al Franken resigns

Featured image As I predicted on January 1, Professor Stephen Carter and others to the contrary notwithstanding, (now former) Minnesota Senator Al Franken resigned from office effective noon yesterday. He submitted his resignation to Governor Mark Dayton. Dayton has appointed Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith — another flaky urban liberal — to take Franken’s place. Ms. Smith goes to Washington (or went there yesterday). She will be sworn in within the hour. Back »

One 2018 prediction

Featured image In the voice of her intriguing narrator in Middlemarch, George Eliot observes: “Among all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous.” It is an insight from which we can learn a lot. Mistake comes in many forms, both gratuitous and otherwise somehow inherent in human nature. Of the gratuitous forms, prediction takes the cake. I think the last time I offered up a full set of predictions for the »

Poll: Minnesotans don’t want Franken to resign

Featured image According to a new survey, more Minnesotans believe Al Franken should remain in the Senate than think he should resign. Half of the voters surveyed think Franken should not resign. Only 42 percent think he should. 60 percent say Franken should have waited until the Senate Ethics Committee investigated his behavior before making a decision whether to stay or go. The poll was conducted by PPP, a Democratic polling firm. »

Ms. Smith goes to Washington

Featured image Minnesota Governor Dayton will announce this morning that he has chosen Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith to succeed Al Franken in the Senate upon Franken’s resignation. Franken has stated his intention to resign but left the timing vague. Once Dayton makes his announcement this morning I trust that Franken’s departure will follow in due course. Exit the clown. Star Tribune reporter Patrick Coolican notes Smith served as Dayton’s first chief of »

Exit the clown

Featured image I was present at the creation of Al Franken’s political career in Minnesota. Thanks to the gracious invitation of a Minnesota DFL public affairs officer, I was one of two reporters in attendance at Franken’s debut as a possible senatorial candidate before an audience of paying Democrats. I wrote up my account of Franken’s performance for Power Line in “Saturday night live with Al Franken.” (The only other reporter there »

The Franken Hedge? [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Did anyone else notice a crucial passage in Franken’s statement on the Senate floor this morning? He said that he’d be resigning “in the coming weeks.” How many weeks? Will reporters ask him for a date certain? Notice, too, that he neither apologized nor admitted to any wrongdoing. Quite the opposite—he essentially implied that some of his accusers are lying, and he couldn’t help but attack President Trump and Roy »

The expendable Mr. Franken

Featured image Democratic support for the tenure of Minnesota Senator Al Franken in office died on the vine today. First Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stepped forward to call for Franken’s resignation. Her call was followed by other Democratic women senators with the exception of his colleague Amy Klobuchar, whose help was unnecessary to the task at hand. However, she had been among the first Senators to call for Franken’s case to be remitted »

Sabo, come to Minneapolis

Featured image Al Franken is not just a national story. He is a major Minnesota story. Sometimes it feels like everything’s happening here, that we’re at ground zero of the suicide of the West. If not exactly at ground zero, we are in the vicinity of the intersection of liberal media, liberal governance, liberal social policy, liberal fatuity and liberal preening. It is suffocating. Al Franken is a major Minnesota story not »

The Franken connection [with comment by Paul]

Featured image This question really should be for Senator Franken. His buddies at the Congressional Black Caucus want to know. They wonder why the formerly iconic John Conyers has to go — but not you. As a man who fancies himself a humorist, perhaps Franken can see the amusement a detached observer might take at finding him in this particular pickle. In any event, having given it a lot of thought over »

The new Al Franken, Part Three

Featured image Paul gave a good account (here and here) of the November 29 Senate Judiciary Committee on the nominations of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit and Kyle Duncan to the Fifth Circuit. I want only to add a few personal notes along with the video of the hearing below. I am a fan and admirer of Justice Stras. He will make a great contribution to the »

The new Al Franken, Part Two

Featured image In addition to questioning Alex Azar during the confirmation hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee yesterday, Al Franken made it to the Judiciary Committee to question court of appeals nominees David Stras and Kyle Duncan. The new Al Franken was on display in that proceeding too. From the old Al Franken, one would have expected fireworks. After all, Franken held up Stras’ nomination for months by »

The new Al Franken

Featured image 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 »