September 11th, 2009
02:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Steak draws Al Franken to Iowa

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Al Franken's headed to Iowa, and a good steak may be one of the reasons."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Al Franken's headed to Iowa, and a good steak may be one of the reasons.

The junior senator from Minnesota is the headliner Sunday at Sen. Tom Harkin's 32nd annual Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa.

"Tom is a good friend. I admire him a lot," Franken, best known from his years as a comedian on "Saturday Night Live," told the Des Moines Register. "But also, I like steak."

The Harkin Steak Fry is one of the Iowa Democratic Party's biggest events, and in years when the party's presidential nomination is up for grabs, it's a draw for Democratic White House hopefuls. Barack Obama's appearance at the 2006 steak fry was a signal that the then-senator from Illinois was seriously considering a bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Now that Obama is president, the steak fry, at least for the next few years, will most likely not hold the same draw when it comes to presidential politics. But it's still considered a major event for Democrats.

Franken narrowly edged out Republican Sen. Norm Coleman in an election that turned into a drawn-out recount and legal battle. The eight-month battle finally ended in June, when the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously upheld Franken's 312 vote victory.

While he's known as a funny man, Franken says he's got serious things to discuss on Sunday.

"I'll talk a lot about health care. That's the big fight now," says Franken. "I'll put it in the context of the kind of progressive politics that Sen. Harkin and I believe in."

Health care will be on Franken's mind Saturday as well, as he Minnesota's senior senator, fellow Democrat Amy Klobuchar, join the president at a health care rally at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

As for Sunday's steak fry, Harkin says he expects Franken will crack some jokes, but also address serious issues.

"We always expect to have fun, have a good time and re-energize our batteries," Harkin told the Des Moines Register.

Filed under: Al Franken
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Tony

    CNN. I can't believe you run garbage like this but don't report on the two incidents about ACORN in MD. and D.C. How the hell can you people look at yourself in the mirror and say I'm proud to be an honest newsperson?

    September 11, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Mike in MN

    I can't believe Franken said he likes steak! Franken is a flaming liberal. Doesn't he know steak is bad for his health and that people who eat red meat are adding to health care costs? And what about saving the planet. Does he not know the cows are a big cause in global warming? Cows should be wipped of the face of the earth and people should all be vegians. What is he thinking!!!!!!

    September 11, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Jackie in Dallas

    You know, it is a constant amazement to me that we get a few, just a few bloggers who cannot resist bringing ACORN into every topic.

    Guys (or gals), ACORN is a non-profit, which like any other company, hires people with flaws like you and me. They have had their fair share of idiots, who got fired. The stated policy of the organization is to increase awareness of voters, and to encourage voter registration. Yes, there were some issues in that, noone will deny that there were. But both President Bush, and Senator McCain were supporters of ACORN, both toured the main office and had photo ops there, and both supported the work of ACORN. So it is time to let go of the boogey bear of ACORN conspiracies. It just ain't so. ACORN doesn't even participate in the majority of states that went solidly for President Obama. So please, give it a rest. Paranoia is treatable.

    As for Senator rip and shred at a man who hasn't even been sworn into his office for but a couple of months? Coleman was there for years as one of the biggest "do-nothings" of the Senate. As for his use of federal money to travel to states other than his own, well, shall we start the litany with Sanford, using state money to fly first class to his mistress in Argentina, for goodness sake? He's going to become acquainted with people he will be working with in both the House and the Senate. At least he's not spending campaign money buying his daughter a $150 handbag!

    September 11, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. victim of republican greed

    I wonder if the right wingnuts will enjoy eating crow when health reform passes.

    September 11, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. dak

    Man! The extremist-right-wing faction of the Republican party just gets crazier and crazier! And nastier and nastier! And more dishonest and more dishonest! One can only hope that they just combust in a big puff of hot air at some point and leave the rest of us alone!

    September 11, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. victim of republican greed

    It appears that ACORN is the wingnut talking point of the day. Is there a republican out there who could explain to the "not so bright" wingnuts of their party that you have to have a legitimate ID to be able to vote?

    September 11, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Stu

    Why is this news? Who cares?

    September 11, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. dak

    I Am The Great And Powerful Rush Of Oz September 11th, 2009 3:21 pm ET

    Fair is Fair @ 2:51:
    The idiocy of the right knows no bounds

    P.S. Liberals eat meat and Conservatives are vegetarians.
    But Fair is Fair will always be an idiot.

    Beautifully said!!!

    September 11, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Proud Member..Party of No should still be hanging your collective heads in shame.

    September 11, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Mike in MN

    Franken better enjoy his steak while he can. He voted to confirm Cass Suntien yesterday as the Regulatory czar. Sustien is an animal rights nut case. If Suntien has his way, we won't be able to eat steaks or pork or chicken or maybe even fish. When will the mainstream media start to take a serious look at the radical nut cases Obama is appointing to czar and advisor positons. Van Jones was just one on many along with Sustien.

    September 11, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Tony

    Jackie in Dallas September 11th, 2009 4:05 pm ET

    You know, it is a constant amazement to me that we get a few, just a few bloggers who cannot resist bringing ACORN into every topic
    Have you seen the two videos about ACORN? Are you ok with someone bringing young girls into the USA to be prostitues. I sure hope you don't have any daughters.

    September 11, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Steve (the real one)

    Whomever spouted out 'You have to have ID to vote" is living in a fairy tale. Courts have blocked that in a lot of areas! Look it up! The liberals don't want IDs. What might be tfe reason? More votes!

    September 11, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. States

    Franken can draw a map of all 50 states....most of these morons who rail against him couldn't even name the 50 states.

    September 11, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. victim of republican greed

    I just realized that Mississippi Mike is the paid Fox entetainment blogger.

    September 11, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. shoegazer

    "He goes for the steak,but he stays for the beans"......

    September 11, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. Pete Caloger

    Hi States,

    Yes he can – I remember him drawing that map on a dryboard way back in the 70s, and accurately drawing the borders of all 50 states in a segment about a presidential election.

    September 11, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  17. Anne E.

    Wish I could be there for this event. Love Iowa, and love both these guys. I am happiest that we can see that Sen. Franken is as intelligent as he is funny. A healthy mix, and we need more of that in Congress - especially more brains.
    Enjoy, Senators!

    September 11, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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