July 6th, 2009
02:07 PM ET
5 years ago

Franken poised to join Senate

Senator-elect Franken was joined by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Capitol Hill Monday.
Senator-elect Franken was joined by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Capitol Hill Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Al Franken says his main goal is to represent the people of Minnesota when he is sworn in Tuesday as the state's new U.S senator following an election that took almost seven months to decide.

"I'm going to work day and night to make sure our kids have a great future and that America's best days are ahead," Franken said Monday at a brief appearance with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to welcome the Minnesota Democrat to Washington.

A satirist and author who once was part of the "Saturday Night Live" cast, Franken defeated incumbent Norm Coleman by just over 300 votes out of more than 2.9 million cast in November. The Minnesota Supreme Court affirming the outcome last week.

Franken' s victory increased the number of senators in the Democratic caucus to 60, which is enough to overcome Republican attempts to mount a filibuster during floor debate.

However, it is unclear if the caucus will hold on upcoming contentious issues such as reforming the health care system and energy policy.

Franken said his main priority was to be Minnesota's second senator with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, another Democrat.

"A lot has been made of this number 60," Franken said. "The number I focus on is number two. I see myself as the number two senator from Minnesota."

Reid said Franken's election means continued progress toward the policies Americans voted for in electing President Barack Obama in November.

"Democrats are not looking at Sen.-elect Franken's election to ram legislation through this body," he said, adding he hoped the Republican majority would take part in bipartisan negotiations on legislation instead of being what he called a "party of no."

"It's our hope the 'party of no' is coming to an end," Reid said.


Filed under: Al Franken • Minnesota • Senate
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Felonious Monk

    Dear Dan
    July 6th, 2009 2:25 pm ET

    What you describe is right out of the GOP playbook. Each and every item you accuse the other side of the GOP has done. Done, not as in going to do, but done as in all ready accomplished.

    July 6, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. Eleanor

    God bless Senator Franken!! He won fair and squre. Don't take my word for it. Ask the State Supreme Court! It's not surprising the Repugnants are howling like wouned pigs. They *hate* to lose, and will do almost anything to ensure they don't. But truth will out. And, Senator Franken won! I have every confidence that he will be a fine, fine Senator, and serve both his state constituents, and our country well, and make us all proud. God bless you, Sentor!

    July 6, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. franco

    Another clown to fill the ranks of the democratic House.

    July 6, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. DJ

    Fair is Fair . . . please tell me you do not believe the people of MA are ignorant enough to vote a republican into the Senate.

    July 6, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. Steph

    "It's our hope the 'party of no' is coming to an end," Reid said.

    It is our hope, too, Senator Reid, but I'm not holding my breath. I haven't seen a detailed plan on anything from the right in a very long time. I don't know why they won't participate in finding solutions to our many problems...maybe the commute is too long or they are too busy with their mistresses. I don't know what they're doing, but it isn't helping average Americans one little bit!

    July 6, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. wjc

    Congratulations, Al. Even former GOP House Member Vin Weber said that Al won the election fair and square. Contrary to some bizarre urban legends, there were no ballots "discovered" in the trunk of a car. Ballots were counted and recounted in accordance with the rules of the state in full view of both campaigns and anyone else who wanted to see.

    Also, there were more judges appointed by Republican and Independence Party governors on the panels who reviewed the election than those appointed by Democrats. Do you really think all of those results would have been unanimous for Franken if any evidence of fraud had been substantiated? No, I don't think so.

    July 6, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Al-Chesapeake

    All you liberals jumping on Coleman because of the recount sure have short memories considering your own Al Gore done the same thing in 2000. Try saying/typing something smart for a change.. We need politicians in DC that will look out for the good old USA not
    their own agenda.

    July 6, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. Enough

    Chris – you must be a pretty boring soul to read anything written by Franken, his hateful radio show didn't make it, did it. Most Democrats don't read books or listen to talk radio.

    Franken supporter – You must be Al Franken, to actually believe Franken is anything but a lousy comedian? Having a degree does not translate into being smart or having common sense.

    July 6, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. P

    Mississippi Mike:

    HOW did he steal the election? Did he STOP the recount, as Bush did?? No, he let the courts decide, and they decided. Typical Republican that whines when things don't go their way.

    July 6, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. terry

    This guy Frankin is the best thing that could have happened to the state of Mn, Colman did nothing for the working man in Mn. He was Big Buss. all the way, Now when we get rid of our Govener who has took money from hosp and clinics for the poor and not working, up north and accross our state, please remember this when one of these fools runs again for something.. Oh yes they will! And I for one will Vote against them. Laborer in Minnesota.

    July 6, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. Mickey Dean

    The republican party is lock-stepped?

    It looked like a goose step to me, but hey, i just love a parade.

    July 6, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Dennis

    Not sure Byrd and Kennedy are Capable of voting. Mary Landreu is very conservative and will not toe the Obama Line. I really don't think the D's can put together 60 votes.

    July 6, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Joe Publicini

    It appears that the only good thing that comes out of Minn. is Prairie Home Companion.

    July 6, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. Jim in Miami

    Franken is, pure and simple, another leg in the stool of incompetence that is the democratic party. Unfortunately, we have an electorate in this country that is too dimwitted to see the long-term consequences of the agenda now being put forth, devoid of any understanding of the priciples of liberty and self-responsibility our country was founded on and all too ready to stand in line for a hand-out. Franken clearly 'stole' the election by perfecting what Gore was stopped from doing in FL in 2000 (remember, pinheads, Bush was ahead when the votes were counted – and was never behind). At least if we are to be socialist, call the handouts what they are – WELFARE ... every recepient of should be embarrassed and ashamed....

    July 6, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. munchmom

    UGH! Scary thought.....

    July 6, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. yuri

    With his killer grin, from SNL, to senator seat, AF will, hopefully, evolve as a constructive contributor to the senate and still retain a sense of humor.

    July 6, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. Justen

    Windfall, speak for yourself, people like me, from Sandstone Minnesote think this guy is not only a clown, but an exposed liar, a cheat, a drunk, and a drug addict, and a narcosist. that should about cover it.

    Norm Coleman however was just a so so polititian, not like the air america failure Al Frannken, He sucked as a radio host, and I suspect he will suck as a senator.

    July 6, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. Typical Republican

    Dan July 6th, 2009 2:25 pm ET

    God help the people of MN. After 4 years of Obama and 6 years of clowns like Franken… maybe people will begin to wise up to the leftist agenda that is being crammed down our throats. All of this because the Democrats were able to paint a false picture and attack good people with their lies – effectively. The Democratic party should be proud of the good job that they have been able to do with their "Yellow Journalism" and ability to tell lies until they are perceived as truth. God help us all.
    ------------------------
    Yea, Bush was the greatest President ever. Who cares if he failed at everything (Winning wars, finding WMD's, Stock Market dropping, Infrastructure Crumbling, Bill of Rights revoked, Torture enacted, world image destroyed, Mass Genocide, lower employment rates then when he took office, Finding Osama Bin Laden, Housing Market dropping out, Auto Industry failing, EVERY child left behind). Despite all that, he was PERFECT!

    And yea, the media made up that stuff about Sanford, Ensign. Palin deserved a permanent vacation, she didn't quit!

    That darn media is creative. They made all those things up!

    July 6, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. the rector

    now you're gonna see "bipartisan change"!

    July 6, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Steve (the real one)

    @Durtch/Bad Newz, VA July 6th, 2009 2:31 pm ET

    Mississippi Mike. Last I checked, the clowns of Congress primarily reside in the Republican Party. Just to name a few: Boehner, Cantor, Hutchinson
    -----------------------
    The last time I checked clowns abound in BOTH parties! Both parties are equal opportunity clown employers!

    July 6, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Jeff in Virginia

    Thankfully the obstruction is finally over.

    Eat your heart out, reds.

    July 6, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. Randolph Carter

    Dan wrote:
    God help the people of MN. After 4 years of Obama and 6 years of clowns like Franken… maybe people will begin to wise up to the leftist agenda that is being crammed down our throats. All of this because the Democrats were able to paint a false picture and attack good people with their lies – effectively. The Democratic party should be proud of the good job that they have been able to do with their "Yellow Journalism" and ability to tell lies until they are perceived as truth. God help us all.

    Danny, the current left leaning policies are only a response to 30 years of right leaning policies starting with deregulation and trickle down economics. Look where that got us. Get used to it. It'll be this way for a while. But the pendulum always swings back the other way. Patience, Grasshopper, let the democrats run things for a change. Have a nice day!

    July 6, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. Bill

    I will give the Republicans Senators credit they can hold thier numbers 99% together on all votes. The Dems well lets say if they had 75 Dem Senators to many big egos they will not stop the Republicans Fillbuster.

    July 6, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Alan

    I would place a cash bet that Al Franken's IQ and understanding of politics is equal to or higher on all counts than Coleman's. That's why Republicans are so afraid of him. He's also someone who won't mince words when he's not happy about the way things are handled in Washington.

    The people of MN are lucky to have him. Al could have made and was making MUCH more money outside of Congress.

    Read some of his latest books. Oh - wait. First you have to know how to read. Well - if you do know how to read, read them. Then you'll realize why so many of the neo-conservatives hate his guts: Franken knows their game and calls it in public for others to see.

    July 6, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. Seattle Rocks

    Congratulations Mr. Franken...welcome to Washington DC!!

    July 6, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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