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

Franken back in DC for Senate updates

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/10/art.franken1.gi.jpg caption="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. Sniffit

    I'm beginning to think that the media simply uses the blogs as a barometer for measuring how misinformed the majority of the public is...so they can guage how easy we are to manipulate. Seriously. Franken demanded the recount? No no no no no.

    February 10, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  2. Capital Insider

    Al Franken is the example of the type of Partisan Politics we don't need. I wish Minn would just have a do over, and pick someone else.

    February 10, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  3. Minnesotan

    Frank in DC February 10th, 2009 7:28 pm ET

    Minnesota has a history of electing nutballs.

    HEY! what about Humphrey? Or more recently Wellstone? I don't like Franken, and I am sad he can go anywhere near the seats once held by those great men, but don;t generalize. Every state has had it's nutballs.

    February 10, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  4. SueB

    Some people should think before they write. Dave in Detroit – maybe Coleman figured out the protocol and where the bathrooms are during his 6 yrs in the Senate? The original count was flawed, the recount was a joke. Coleman didn't win the original count by a landslide – like 250 votes – and Franken didn't win the recount by a landslide – even less, like 225 votes. They've lost boxes of ballots which still haven't been found, but they also found boxes of ballots in someones car and in some storage room somewhere, and the number of votes for various districts didn't match the number of people who voted or exceeded the number of people registered to vote. They really should just have a revote. They need to set very clear guidelines on counting, such as if the circle next to a name is marked that person gets the vote. None of this crap about well they voted for all Dem candidates so they didn't mean to vote for Coleman, or they voted for all GOP candidates so they didn't mean to vote for Franken. Should be a bit easier if there's only 2 names on the ballot. They should also have someone with half a brain oversee the counting.

    February 10, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  5. SuperDuperIndependent

    Franken is a troll trying to "pretend" he is a senator now. How can anybody feel good about electing a professional comedian to the senate? Is there nothing people feel actually requires some modicum of professional experience anymore? It's like waking up one day and deciding that you want to be an astronaut. Nice try. Being a senator used to mean you were a statesman with serious commitment to shaping policy backed up by a record of some sort of relevant achievements. Now with the troll it looks like it's just something you do when your comedy career screeches to a halt.

    February 10, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  6. Minnesotan

    Before you start bashing Minnesota realize that our state may elect "nutballs" but we're still smarter than the rest of you. Minnesota when scored separately from US on math, science, etc. in international tests consistently scores two to three (at times more) places higher than the nation as a whole. We also have one of the toughest and highest rated education systems in the nation. You can laugh all you want at the lack of common sense some display, but it's really for lack of options. Coleman or Franken? The crook or the clown? Coleman or Skip Humphrey or Ventura? The crook, the one riding on another's legacy though he didn;t live up to it, or the rogue? Come on MN, we are smart people. Surely we have someone more qualified to represent us!!!

    February 10, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  7. chuck

    Franken has a political science degree from HAVARD! He knows what he is talking about. His political views are right on.

    February 10, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  8. Mike - Houston

    Franken, what a sick joke.

    February 10, 2009 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  9. JAK

    There could be no better demonstration of how seriously messed up this country is than having elected Al Franken as a Senator.

    February 10, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  10. Joel

    If people are really smart would notice that there is something fishy about al franken, he owes taxes and people trust him?? May be those people who trust him owe taxes too.

    February 10, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  11. fmr. Hillary Supporter now for McCain

    If old four eyes thinks he's won, then why doesn't he go down to the floor of the senate with all the other senators?

    I'll tell you why, because he hasen't won and probably never will!
    "And that's OK!"

    February 10, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
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