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

Steak draws Al Franken to Iowa

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/11/art.franken.0911.gi.jpg 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. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    It will be someone elses steak stolen to give to him by ACORN and the union thugs, just like the election.

    September 11, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. bess

    Archie Bunker's "MEAT"HEADS. ha ha.

    September 11, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. William LeMasters, D.O.

    Dear Honorable Franken,

    Please pass on the beef. It is well known that red meat contributes to heart disease. The tax paying public can not afford to finance your coronary bypass as they will be strapped paying for the uninsured and illegal aliens' health care coverage. Have salad!!

    W LeMasters, D.O.

    September 11, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Roger

    Al is funny! He may not be much of a Senator but he is funny. I hope he gets to be the entertainment at the steak fry!

    September 11, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. BobH

    I was unsure about Al Franken when he ran, but after seeing him in action– and watching the video of him explaining his views on healthcare to a group of right wing "tea party" protesters– I think he may be one of the smartest, most clear-headed guys in the Senate. Plus he's funny.

    September 11, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Man, I am starving...I wish I was invited. I love a good steak.

    September 11, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    Steak?

    Then I assume there will be a PETA rally at the event... right?

    Or are they going to be too busy scaring little kids at McDonalds with their so-called "unhappy meals"?

    The hypocricy of the left knows no bounds.

    September 11, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Avi Shlomo

    Al: make sure that steak fry is Kosher!!

    September 11, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Al Franken's headed to Iowa

    this man could become the best Senator of our time

    we do live in corrupt times so the bar has been set low, but he, like Obama is a wise and good man

    We are very lucky to have them

    September 11, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. Craig in VA

    Does that mean that Franken is going to run for president in 2012? Well he might win, if Obama could win I guess he could too.

    September 11, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. Mark

    Why won't CNN investigate Acorn after all the recent videos of Acorn encouraging tax fraud and prostitution?

    September 11, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. Zach K

    I love Al Franken. He might be a comedian, but he is also very smart with the political system. Also, who else saw him draw the US Map from memory?

    Franken is going to be the best thing to happen to Minnesota. Just wait and see.

    September 11, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. I Am The Great And Powerful Rush Of Oz

    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.

    September 11, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Maura in MN

    Thank you, Senator Franken. You are a delight... Enjoyed watching the Senator at the MN State Fair drawing the US free hand, and from memory. He's great for supporting vets and right on universal health care.

    September 11, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. Clay

    Now that Franken's seen the cowardice of his democaratic peers in regards to health care, I'm surprised that he's willing to sit at the same table with any of them. The only thing that should be on that menu is humble pie and blood pie. I wouldn't share a beer with any of them if they bought he whole keg and paid the Grateful Dead to be the house band. There's not a single honorable person in the whole lot.

    September 11, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. snowball

    Al Franken is proving to be the gem some of us knew he would be. He's' so dang smart, and he's also very patient with people and willing to listen.

    If you haven't seen it, go to YouTube and type in Al Franken Draws the United States. It's unbelievable that he draws the country freehand.

    September 11, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. Jonathan

    This is news?

    September 11, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. JLS

    Al Franken and Tom Harkin: Dumb and Dumber.

    September 11, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. Super MOD

    Typical liberal. Not only is he hurting the environment by flying to an event, eating meat has a greater carbon foot print than cars. Where is PETA when we need them. I bet a Republican Steak Fry would have every animal rights activist in the country attending.

    September 11, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. enough already

    I'll be sure to take his diatribes on climate change with a grain of salt from now on, seeing that he is willing to fly to Iowa for a steak.

    But, then again, it is a handout – something no Democrat can turn down.

    September 11, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Keep up the good work Franken. Enjoy the steak. I think I will put one on the BBQ this evening! Medium well, potatoe, slaw, fried okra. I am hungry now.

    September 11, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. dave g

    Why is this a story? He's not going to his own state, is he traveling on his own dime or is he mooching off of the taxpayers for his travel? It's pretty clear that he'll get a free steak lunch, but what about the hotel and the plane–I'm assuming we're picking up the tab for this "official" visit.

    September 11, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. geecee

    What's wrong guys? You got something against smart people being in Congress?

    September 11, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. Michael

    From the comments it is pretty obvious the right is doing well at its normal game of turning everything into either a conspiracy or an opportunity to attack the fictional boogeyman they think they are opposing. Hey guys, maybe you should worry about coming up with some ideas toward fixing our economy, foreign policy or health care that don't end in absolute calamity and lay off worrying about what kid's meals at fast food restaurants are called. Then maybe someone would take you seriously and your candidates might actually win some elections. Just a thought.

    September 11, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. Fair is Fair

    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.
    ____________________

    Do you realize how immature you sound with your diatribe?

    Put away your crayons, now... mommy says your PB&J sammich is ready.

    September 11, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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