Are we ready for Senator Al Franken?

Comedian Al Franken has reached out to Democratic lawmakers from Minnesota in recent days, seeking advice on a possible Senate run against Republican Sen. Norm Coleman next year.

Franken, a veteran of “Saturday Night Live” and radio show host, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he’s called all of the Democrats in the delegation.

“I didn’t call Coleman,” he deadpanned. “I want to mainly touch base and get advice and counsel on certain issues.”

Franken said he’s also been reaching out to campaign veterans, pollsters and others to get their advice. While people have been encouraging, Franken said, they’ve also warned about possible pitfalls.

One in particular, Franken relayed: “It’s unknown how people will respond to a comedian running for the Senate. I need to figure out a way to let people know I’m extremely serious about Minnesotans and their lives.”

Franken said he hopes to make a decision in the next few weeks. Last year, he moved his radio show from New York City to Minneapolis.

Rep. Collin Peterson, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said that when he picked up the phone, the first thing Franken said was, “I need you to explain countercyclical payments to me.”

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press


  1. Thomas W. Day

    Franken would be an infinite improvement over Coleman (although dividing by zero always provides this result). He’s intelligent, uses his intelligence for good purposes, and is a great listener. It remains to be seen if Minnesotans (I’m one) will vote for ability over dogma. This has become (like most of Amerika) a home for conservative cowards, politically and socially. Growth hasn’t been good for the state’s IQ.

  2. Cheri Henderson

    Such great news 😀 Al Franken is wonderful and I so hope he makes it to the Senate.

  3. mary

    I like Al and agree with him on the issues most of the time. He is a deep thinker. However, I have been surprised at how inarticualte he can be for someone who has made a living by speaking. He needs to improve his speaking skills before he runs for Senator. Early on Hillary Clinton was a pretty poor speaker, but has definitely improved her speaking skills. Politics is about the selling of ideas and good communication skills are vital to the process. Advice to Al, ask Hillary for the name of her speech coach. Otherwise he runs the risk of coming across as just an outdated comedian, whom I don’t even find very funny.

  4. Neal Goldstien

    Al Franken is a deep thinker
    whose humor often reveals profundities as well as wit — think of Mark Twain and Will Rogers. He’ll be the smartest man in the Senate, with the possible exception of Barack Obama. The country needs him. Thank you, Minnesota.

  5. David Rosenberg

    So far, all that commented are for Al to run. There should be a balance, we have a dumb Monkey in the White House, why not a a smart Donkey in the Senate.
    There is much more to Al Franken, then his comic genius.

  6. Bat

    From ng: “Is there any difference
    between comedian and actor?”

    Yes. Comedians are smart.
    You have to have a lot of intelligence to have a sense of humor.

  7. Judy DiGennaro

    I have read all of Franken’s books and am impressed with the depth of his research, his openness, and his honesty. I’m not sure the Senate is ready for that but I aure am. Go Al!

  8. Daniel Schreiber

    I am so for having Al run for the Minnesota Senate in fact I thought perhaps that was why he moved back there. I feel that Al would be the type of Sentor who would truly represent the people of Minnesota in the style and memory of Paul Wellestone.

  9. Fantastic news. Al is not just “a comedian.” He is thoroughly on top of the issues and policies ticking and purring on the state, national and global levels. I live in MN and would vote for him in a heart beat.