[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/15/art.franken0715.gi.jpg caption="Minnesota Sen. Al Franken volunteered to switch seats with Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy after the Vermont senator's microphone stopped working. "]WASHINGTON (CNN) - It's only his first Senate hearing, but Sen. Al Franken took the chairman's seat at the Judiciary Committee Wednesday.
When Chairman Patrick Leahy experienced a technical problem with his microphone, Franken volunteered to switch places with the Vermont senator, and sit in Leahy's chair. Faced with little choice, Leahy ambled down to the far end of the dais, and sat in the junior senator's chair to finish his prepared written statement. Franken, meanwhile, sat in Leahy's chair smiling from ear to ear.
Ranking Republican Jeff Sessions congratulated Franken on the move to the chairman's spot: "This is the fastest rise of any senator in history!" But the Minnesota senator's shift was short-lived: he soon relinquished the chair, and waited on the side until Leahy finished his statement. Leahy then returned to the chairman's seat, where a new microphone was in place. And Franken returned to the tail end of the committee seating chart.
Franken is in his sixth day in the Senate.