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. geecee

    Franken "stole" the election? You mean like Bush stole it in 2000? The Supreme Court of the U.S. "decided" for Bush after his brother Jeb, Governor of Florida, and Katherine Harris, (R) Secretary of State of Florida, cooked the votes to get Bush/Cheney the electoral college win in the state and the Supreme Court picked their pet, Dumbya. And we all know how that turned out for the next 8 years! We're still feeling the repercussions, and will continue to do so for another year or so, until Obama can finally straighten out the mess. But give him more time – 6 months is way too short a timespan for anything to turn around. He will make it happen. Obama definitely has talent in the brains and diplomacy departments, that's for sure.

    July 6, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. Enough

    Ok Democrats, I hope you support him because he is a Democrat, but understand he is a lousy choice for politician and quit trying to convince yourself he's so smart and intelligent . Democrats like to elect celebrity, but this guy can't even qualify under that category.

    July 6, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. GOP = 21st century dodo

    @ Steve

    "You are making my point. The problem is the arrogance! We elect people to serve us! The problem is most politicians continue to believe it is about THEM! It is supposed to be about US!"

    You should email that to Sarah Palin. She can't seem to get off her "me" train.

    July 6, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. Chris D.

    Congrats Mr. Franken.......Now let's get this energy bill, and healthcare legislation through please.

    July 6, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Erik S,

    Well, Minnesota, enjoy, because you voted for him, the jokes going to be on you.

    July 6, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. changing my screen name to see if it helps getting my comments posted

    @ DaBird,

    Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for senators: 1) each senator must be at least 30 years old, 2) must have been a citizen of the United States for at least the past nine years, and 3) must be (at the time of the election) an inhabitant of the State they seek to represent. The age and citizenship qualifications for senators are more stringent than those for representatives.

    I turned 30 a month ago. I am now qualified to be Senator in MN. My background probably would make me a poor senator. However, I am still qualified and could run if I so choose.

    July 6, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    @ Sniffit,

    I live in the MA where the past 3 speakers of the state house, all democrats, were kicked out of office due to corruption and/or felonies.

    Yeah... THAT Massachusetts.

    July 6, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. Dan, TX

    After reading through the comments, I am once again convinced that America is mostly inhabited by uneducated and little people. Dick Luger is the only republican I respect. I can't think of another republican in Congress who comes close to Dick Luger as a Statesman. On the democrat side, you have many of the Blue Dog center-right Democrats. There really isn't much need for the republican party. The conservative democrats will keep centrist policies in place.

    July 6, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. The Quitter GOP Governors' Association

    Kind of looks like a goof ball, doesn't he?

    July 6, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  10. Chris D.

    Enough July 6th, 2009 3:10 pm ET

    Ok Democrats, I hope you support him because he is a Democrat, but understand he is a lousy choice for politician and quit trying to convince yourself he's so smart and intelligent . Democrats like to elect celebrity, but this guy can't even qualify under that category
    -------------------------------–

    OK....Wasn't Ronald Reagan a retired Hollywood Star? Let's get real....It's a new world......Obama is going to make tough decisions that should have been made under GOP rule, in the past 20+ years that America had them in office (minus B. Clinton).

    July 6, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  11. Franken Supporter

    I am obviously NOT Al Franken, but to the person who accused me of being him: Thanks.

    Senator Franken has much more important things to do than sit around reading the nonsense posted on this "ticker" much less responding to it, I'm sure.

    It is also apparent that the person who doesn't think Franken is funny, has not watched his work on SNL or read his books. My favorite is "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right" because it got BillO so upset. His blotchy picture on the front next to sneering Cheney, & under Ann Coulter (he only wishes that were true in real life) and kitty-corner from Bush (obviously in the middle of a lie because his lips are open) was perfection.

    I challenge anyone to read that book and not laugh. If you don't laugh you are a humorless conservative who wouldn't know a joke if it looked like George Carlin and bit you in the rear.

    July 6, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. southerncousin

    A great addition, although with Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid already there and having seniority, he will be the junior idiot. Another puppet for Obama.

    July 6, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. mrkusn

    He is going to have a tough time representing the other half of MN as well as middle-of-the-road Democrats. Franken is far left. The DFL in MN has never been part of the fringe progressive bloc.

    It is funny that MN is electing more Hollywood types than CA!

    July 6, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Mark Sanford is going to marry Sarah Palin

    I guess it just goes to show, that any "Joker" can get elected these days!!!

    July 6, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. Jim in San Mateo

    For those of you offended by celebrities becoming senators, I offer you Fred Thompson. The man is inept without a script. At least Al knows how to think of the lines instead of just read them.

    July 6, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. Pricilla

    Congratulations to Al Frankin .Keep your chin up and your back covered cause there are people just waiting for you to fail. Don't fall into the traps that are inevitably being set for you.We have faith in you . Work hard and make us Proud to be Democrats.
    Sincerely,
    Pricilla

    July 6, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. gee

    Another idiot in the Minnesota circus! Wake up people.

    July 6, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Ben

    Sen. Franken is an exceptional addition to the Senate. Bravo to you sir!

    July 6, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. gENO

    I'll betcha he tells an obscene and/or vulgar joke in his acceptance speech, so that it will have to be bleeped out when TV covers it. How does foul mouth vulgarity make it to Washington DC? Oh, better not ask.

    July 6, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. norb

    Anybody who has a book titled "Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot" can't be all bad!

    July 6, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. Liberal4Obama

    Congratulations Senator Franken!!

    July 6, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Donnat

    Al is well educated, very knowledgable regarding the issues and is not afraid to stand up for the folks he represents. I wish him well and wish my state had two more just like him.

    July 6, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Tom Paine

    Stuart Smalley in the Senate. Another idicator that the government is a mess.

    July 6, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Bouquie

    I see a movie in the making, and the title of the movie is "Mr. Franken goes to Washington."

    July 6, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. Flash in the Pan

    The government is now completely in the hands of libs...This is now Obama's economy, and he just started a war in Afghanistan.

    Let's just see where we all go from here...

    July 6, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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