February 10th, 2009
06:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Franken back in DC for Senate updates

Franken is in Washington.
Franken is in Washington.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Democrat Al Franken will return to the nation's capitol Tuesday night in order to "prepare" for the possibility that he will be named the junior senator from Minnesota, his spokeswoman Jess McIntosh confirmed to CNN.

Franken is in the middle of a bitter court battle with former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, thanks to a closer-than-close election and subsequent hand recount that left Franken in the lead with 225 votes. Coleman is challenging that outcome.

The former comedian and Saturday Night Live alum will stay in DC through Thursday and will likely meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"The purpose is to prepare him for the Senate, in terms of policy, in terms of familiarizing himself with the institution of the Senate and how it operates, and in terms of the upcoming legislative agenda," McIntosh said.

"He'll be meeting with senate staff members, leaders with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and former Hill staffers–including Senator Wellstone's former Senior Policy Advisor– who are currently working in areas of Al's particular interest, particularly the economy and energy issues."

In a pair of op-ed columns in the Minneapolis Star Tribune Tuesday, Franken and Coleman outlined their respective positions on the stimulus plan, though neither will be able to vote on the measure.

Not surprisingly, their opinions are split along party lines: Coleman thinks the bill won’t do enough to boost the struggling economy, while Franken calls the legislation flawed but necessary.


Filed under: Al Franken
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. ldk

    Senator Franken did not ask or demand a recount – State Law DID!!!! Get it. It was so close that the law stipulated a recount. Do we need to use a republican tactic and repeat that a million times until you believe it. Also, if Coleman is so great WHY WAS THE VOTE SO CLOSE -- Answer -- LOOOOOSER

    February 10, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  2. David

    Diod you all forget what the REpublican party did when Gore won over a half million more votes than Bush. They went to court and would still be in court if Gore didn't do what was best for the country and put an end to it. Now Coleman, the Republican will fight this for 6 years if he could. I could never be a Republican, I try to do what is right, not what is good for me alone.

    February 10, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  3. Xavier

    Once Franken is in, it will be 59 down and 1 to go to take away the arrogant GOP's one remaining weapon.

    February 10, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  4. Jamie from Philly

    Coleman's selfish insistence in prolonging the outcome of this election indicates how little he values the needs of the people of Minnesota in comparison to his own ambitions.

    February 10, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  5. Larry Houston Texas

    From what I understand, there were too many people that Voted
    for Franken that wrote his name IN, like "Al Frankenstein"
    that's where the problem lies.....but, still, the winner would be Franken.

    February 10, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  6. NOT THE KINDA GUY TO SAY I TOLD YOU SO, BUT I TOLD YOU SO

    The Democrat Party

    Obama- HALF HONKEY

    AL FRANKEN- ALL DONKEY

    THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST OF THE PARTY

    WHO SAYS THE AMERICAN ELECTORATE IS UNEDUCATED?

    February 10, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  7. A Republican

    Norm it's over...

    February 10, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  8. Chris

    It could be worse, he could be that idiot Palin.

    February 10, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  9. Debi

    It is interesting that Republicans believe in a recount when it works in their favor (2000, 2004), but think it is Franken just being "a sore loser" because he had a constitutional right to a recount.

    Republicans use the constitution like they use the bible.... pick and choose the parts you want to pay attention too.

    February 10, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  10. Debi

    It is interesting that Republicans believe in a recount when it works in their favor (2000, 2004), but think it is Franken just being "a sore loser" because he had a constitutional right to a recount.

    Republicans use the constitution like they use the bible…. pick and choose the parts you want to pay attention too.

    February 10, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  11. Kimberly

    Um, AL GORE WON BY MILLIONS!!!! It came down to the FL screw up because bushie boys BROTHER was in charge. This is NOTHING like Gore! Coleman said when he was ahead, BEFORE all votes were counted that Franken should do the right thing for the state and concede!! NOW after three recounts he LOST!!! Its TIME TO STEP DOWN!!! Coleman is a loser, like ALL GOP nuts!

    February 10, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  12. Beerine Muir

    No, biaprtisan, Franken does not equal a leftist Rush Limbaugh. Why? Simple. Franken is rational, and Limbaugh it not. Case closed. (But he's also smarter and–to put it lightly–more humane.) Agreed, though, that Al is a leftist. But hey, we won!

    February 10, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  13. Beerine Muir

    No, biaprtisan, Franken does not equal a leftist Rush Limbaugh. Why? Simple. Franken is rational, and Limbaugh is not. Case closed. (But he's also smarter and–to put it lightly–infinitely more humane and democratic.) Agreed, though, that Al is a leftist. But hey, we won!

    February 10, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  14. EVOLVE

    THE SORE LOSING REPUBLICANS NEED TO EVOLVE TO THE REALITY THEY DON'T REPRESENT THE PEOPLE AND WE ARE TIRED OF THE CORPORATIONS AND RICH GETTING ALL THE BREAKS.

    THE REPUBLICANS NEED TO SUPPORT THEIR COUNTRY AND NOT THE RACIST PARTY.

    EVOLVE RNC AND PUT FRANKEN TO WORK IN WASHINGTON.

    February 10, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  15. Eric

    You people need to listen to yourselves, cheering and chiding Republicans and Democrats like it is some sort of sporting event.

    What's that quote – "we have seen the enemy, and he is us..."

    If you people want change you can believe in, then start living it... Barack Obama won an electoral vote by a landslide, but the popular vote was much closer... you better learn to communicate with your fellow citizens if you want to make progress.

    February 10, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  16. Cate

    All of you who have an issue with Franken having been a comedian: You voted for Reagan, didn't you? And you still have sweet dreams about him? Yeah, thought so. Smart people are capable of doing many things. You're likely not one of them. Get over it.

    February 10, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  17. Dave

    It's so funny to see the left wing goofs on this site calling the Right wing goofs cry babies and sore losers. For 8 years all anyone heard was how George Bush stole the election..Booohooo. I hope this case carries out in court for years at the price of the ridiculous people of Minnesota who voted for a guy who clearly isn't "Smart enough, funny enough, and clearly not many people like him".

    February 10, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  18. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Put your red rubber nose back on, Franken–you're a clown and always will be.

    February 10, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  19. Paula Higgins

    Norm Coleman won the election. Al Franken pushed for a recount and got it with votes that came from nowhere. For example, more votes in a county than registered voters. Neat trick and way to go Minnesota. Have you been taking lessons from Cook County, Illinois? Frankly, Norm Coleman is too good for the people of Minnesota. This should not even have been close. Let them have the representation they so justly deserve in Al Franken. Norm should move to Georgia. We would love to have a Sen. of his high caliber, decency and integrity.

    February 10, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  20. Dennis, Amarillo Texas

    Comments are moderated by CNN, in accordance with the DNC Comment Policy, and may be censured to prevent any negative comments toward any Democrat, or any negative reaction to a Democrat run Presidency and Congress from being printed in a free and open society. Also, since CNN is in the process of changing its name to the Democraticisha Provda Zeitungen, not all comments will be posted since some might be outside the State Run Dictates of the DPZ.

    February 10, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. Lotibrown

    wow...Republics think Al isnt qualified and should go back to 'Hollywood' Are these the same people who applaud Regan and Arnold??

    More Republican trickle down gibberish!!

    February 10, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  22. Charlie Marlatt

    Franken going to Washington would be like the sequel to Idiocracy. He is the definition of a total nut job.

    February 10, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  23. Mike in SoCal

    Hi! I'm Al Franken, and I'm a liberal loser! My "progressive" radio network took a dive, and no true American gives a rat's fat one about me at all.

    Just like the 'ole SNL days when I was "harmless". However, now I am trying to cheat my way into the Senate. All you Obamabots...please wish me luck!

    February 10, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  24. Shannon

    Congrats to Al Franken !!!!!!

    February 10, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  25. debbie

    Who gives a flaming rat's butt about Sarah Palin?

    February 10, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
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