February 10th, 2009
06:30 PM ET
13 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. Rick

    Coleman won based on the original results, Franken won on the recount, which included more than a little, um, interpretation of the intention of the voters. Who won? Certainly not the voters. Let's have a run-off, but first educate the voters on how to fill in a circle on a ballot.

    February 10, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  2. Dave, Detroit

    Leave it to the right-wing commenters on here to pick on Al for making sure he is ready for the job when and if he gets the courts backing that he won. If Coleman is so sure he won, why is he not taking steps like these to prepare himself for a very important position? Guess it is easier to do like the rest of the GOP and just take a blind stance when the time (if it does) comes.

    February 10, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  3. Bill

    Say goodnight, Norm.

    February 10, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. TEXAS


    February 10, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  5. Marc

    Al Franken won the election plain and simple. The republicans cannot accept defeat gracefully. How in the world were federal type elections ever decided prior to the last 8 years? Oh yeah. Karl Grupenfuehrer Rove wasn't involved at the national level. I forgot. Sorry.

    February 10, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  6. TEXAS


    February 10, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  7. Tess

    Please: it's bad enough that we in MN have to face the prospect of this vulgar poseur "serving" MN – but please, no more photos. Haven't we suffered enough?

    February 10, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  8. Mike in Philly

    I hink both Al and Norm should keep up to the minute with events, because one of them will be a Senator Real Soon Now, and they need to start being a Senator right away – no waiting to catch up with everybody else, because they were home in MN, waiting for the suit to be decided. 5 minutes after the suit is settled, the winner should be on the phone, organizing their swearing-in ceremony ASAP..

    February 10, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. Keith

    It just goes to show, if you work real hard to maintain the reputation of a complete lunatic and fail miserably at talk radio to the extent that they shut your station down, dust yourself off and keep trying. Don't ever give up pushing a wacko socialist agenda because you never know when a man with the same agenda might end up in the White House on nothing but a popularity contest. That way you both can ride to victory on absolutely no experience. Good work Al!

    February 10, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  10. Eric


    I would like to inform you that a senator serves for 6 years not 4. I am wondering if you felt this way after the Bush election of 2000. Somehow I am sure you think Bush stole that election...

    February 10, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  11. Greg Hodges

    It will be interesting watching Limbaugh go into convulsions when Senator Franken is confirmed as the junior Senator from Minnesota. Of course "Russ" the windbag does not have the guts to run himself.

    February 10, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  12. ML

    This is indeed a comedy we should be ashamed of.

    February 10, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  13. Mike

    With what Franken has done to wrestle away his Senate seat in his state I am sure he knows all too well how the Senate works it terms of being a Democrat.

    February 10, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  14. Kevin

    Kimberly, Norm Coleman did win, but Franken demanded the recount like a "sore loser". Somehow extra votes for Franken emerged after the recount, therefore I do not blame Coleman for fighting this till the end.

    February 10, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  15. td

    Um..Kimberly..were you not here when Al Gore 'won'?

    February 10, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. Bossy

    I heard that in the recount, they came up with more votes than registered voters. Is this right?

    February 10, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  17. Shirley in PA

    I'm just so thankful he is not the senator in my state. Whew!!!

    February 10, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. Barb in Omaha

    Count, recount....the vote is done and this country needs every senator seeded.

    This is the result. Senator Al Franken.

    Now, go do the job of the country and for your state.

    February 10, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  19. Chip Bradley

    225 votes and he clearly won???? when coleman was up 250ish the first time. The only thing clear is that Minnesota's system is flawed. They should just have a run off and that be it. My opinion as an independent is that they could solve this faster and cheaper with a run-off election.

    February 10, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  20. Steve (the real one)

    Why?? Did he actually win anything?

    February 10, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. dobber

    Come on – you Minnesotans are just funnin with the rest of us. First Jesse Ventura and now Al Franken! I get it, your using your voting rights to make a humorous statement right? Surely there must be better picks for the highest offices in the state or is it just that your party leaders think that stand up comics and pro wrestlers are the best Minnesota has to offer. Ah well, I guess it's better than that gov of Illinois. What a sorry state politics in America finds itself in. But it all comes down to – we get the government we deserve, after all we did elect them didn't we?

    February 10, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  22. Patriot

    Haha, we democrats will keep counting until we get the results we want! Don't like it Bushies? Too bad!

    February 10, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  23. billy-bayou

    First...Barney Frank, then Bill Clinton, the first all white black president, then obama the first black and white president and now Al Franken, your democrap party,enjoy....LAMO

    February 10, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. The Truth

    Kimberly said:

    This reminds me of the Isreal thing right now. The lady won, clearly, yet the conservative right NUTS came right out and said even though their guy came in second, he was the winner???? What the HECK is wrong with the right wings of countries? They are sore losers, and cry babies.

    Kimberly, I have two words for you: Al Gore

    February 10, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  25. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Send the ballots to me. I spend decades transcribing documents from hundreds of handwritten papers. I am an expert in determining intention of the writer!

    This is all so much crap!

    Just toss a coin and do it that way.

    February 10, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6