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. Humility is called for

    The race is so close that it is wise for Franken to get up to speed, pending the ultimate outcome.

    Neither can claim much of a victory, and no matter who the court names the other would do well to legislate moderately and try to reach for a middle ground ...

    yeah, that'll happen

    February 10, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  2. Dave

    I'm disappointed that he doesn't wear the satellite dish on his head like he did on Saturday Night Live. It made him seem more intelligent somehow.

    February 10, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  3. Rob

    Has dweedle-dum paid his back taxes yet ?
    Go home Franken.

    February 10, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  4. NoLeftTurn

    Go away, Al, go away!!

    February 10, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. mark

    Kimberly.... if you think Franken "clearly" won, then you're the nut.

    ....and possibly an unstable one based on your rant.

    February 10, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  6. mh

    what a joke he has made of the senate. fitting for this administration!

    February 10, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  7. RJ

    Marc you are out of your mind if you think "winning" a vote by 200 votes out of millions is "plain and simple," especially with the inconsistent treatment of the ballots. I certainly would not have voted for Franken, but I would at least respect the outcome of the election if the ballots were afforded equitable consideration. It's sad that it has to be left up to the courts to straighten out Minnesota's mess.

    February 10, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. Richard/ Naples Florida


    February 10, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  9. Mark

    Al, you are a smug blowhard that has no business in politics...go back to Hollywood from whence you came.

    February 10, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  10. Kitty Hopp

    To anyone who thinks that Al Franken isn't smart and sincere, I would suggest that you read his books.

    February 10, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  11. Reason

    Regardless of how this turns out, Minnesota has become the laughing stock of the nation. Senator Franken? Not even Al Franken can come up with ridicule equal to that oxymoron.

    February 10, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |

    Both Franken and Coleman know that Al will ultimately be declared the winner. ANd for those of you who think that Franken is an 'idiot', you will be greatly surprised once he"s seated as a senator to find out how intelligent and astute a political observer he is. Spew venom all you like. The truth will come out soon, and then we Dems can get the last laugh!

    February 10, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Correction.....Coleman was ahead after the voting in November. According to Minnesota law, if a vote is as close as this one was, there is an automatic recall. Franken did not have to ask for a recall, it's state law to have one. The rules that were followed during the recount had to be agreed upon by both men and following the recount Franken won. No, not at all by a landslide, it was a very close race. I believe though, since things were followed as both men agreed upon, Franken should be the clear winner.

    February 10, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  14. Zion

    Conservatives can never criticize Illinois, remember, you guys voted Bush in twice. Even after the US fell down around you, you still want to say he did a great job.

    February 10, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  15. Harriet

    Al, I can hardly wait to see you seated as the U.S. Senator from Minnesota. Maybe you can lighten up the scene.

    February 10, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |



    February 10, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  17. Mike in Philly

    "Kimberly, Norm Coleman did win, but Franken demanded the recount like a "sore loser""

    Wrong, the MN law demanded a recount; Franken did n*not* "demand" a recount. You should learn the facts of the matter, before commenting.

    February 10, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  18. AC

    Coleman losing to Franken for the Senate. This is right up there with Gore losing to Quayle in the '92 VP debate.

    February 10, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  19. fella from chicago

    What has happened to Minnesota politics? From a great politician such as Hubert Humphrey serving the State with dignity to a pro westler governor and now a comedian who wants to sit where H.H once sat and served the people of Minnesota. I've lived too long.

    February 10, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  20. Jero

    Why does it take so long, maybe it takes so long that minnesota will have only 1 senator for the next 6 years. I understand why Coleman is doing this, who wouldn't fight for his job, but this court must say: FINISHED! Franken is the WINNER!. NO BUTS! SEND HIM TO WASHINGTON DC! This just look likes 2 fighting children with no parents to separate them.

    February 10, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  21. Weareallfamily

    interesting how both senators are jewish in a state that has one of the biggest arabic populations in the us.

    February 10, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  22. Bipartisan

    I'm not against Al because he's a comedian. I'm against him because he is such a radical liberal. His talk show was just a hateful mouthpeice for the far left. No different from his counterpart Rush on the far right. This country is going to show both sides that we are mainly centrist and will not stand for partisan B.S.

    February 10, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  23. He's not won anything yet----send him back to Minnesota

    What a goofball--does he think these meetings will help the vote count?

    February 10, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  24. Equal time

    I just find it interesting that when Coleman initially had a lead of a few hundred votes, he made it clear that Franken should concede in the best interests of the people of Minnesota. But now, after a recount, he's losing by about the same count, he thinks he must not concede.

    Can't get any more two faced than that, huh?

    February 10, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  25. ldk

    pssst...hey repugnants...Al won....Barack won....we won jerks....run neo-cons run...

    February 10, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6