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1st July
2009
written by Sean Noble

Al Franken speaks to reporters outside home in Minnesota

Al Franken has officially won the Minnesota U.S. Senate seat, prevailing over Norm Coleman in what has been one of the most expensive post-election legal battles for a Senate seat in U.S. history.

This gives Obama and the Democrats the 60 seats that, if they all hung together, would enable them to push through legislation without worrying about a filibuster.  However, with the national environment shifting toward Republicans, there are a number of Democrat Senators up for re-election in 2010 that for anything even slightly controversial, it will be tough for the Democrats to get to 60 votes on cloture.

Franken will be assigned to the Judiciary Committee, which will immediately throw him into the national spotlight with the Sotomayor hearings starting in a couple weeks.

While he is an unabashed liberal, watch for Franken to carve a unique position on a variety of issues.  He will be underestimated because of his comedian (although that implies he has ever been funny) background, but he is as smart as the typical Senator, so he will undoubtedly get a glowing profile write up in a major publication shortly after the Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

If I was advising Franken (and I’m among the last of those he’d ever call) I would suggest that he keep a fairly low profile and build a reputation of taking the job very seriously.  I would advise that he only speak on the floor when he can speak with genuine substance on an issue.  It will be easy to dismiss him if he does some of his screeching, so for his own political future, he’d be wise to try to be a work horse rather than a show horse.

We’ll see if he can keep his ego in check enough to do so.  I have my doubts.

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2 Comments

  1. Woody
    01/07/2009

    If he’s as smart as a typical Senator, does that mean some are dumber and some are even dumberer?

  2. Susie
    01/07/2009

    Wouldn’t it do us all good if they all became “work horses”… I am trying to understand his ROI. He spent how many millions of OPM winning the fight and he’ll earn $150K a year. But, oh, what he’ll be able to “buy” for that position. I really think that they think we’re stupid. Maybe we’ve made a substantial amount of stupid choices, but we aren’t stupid people, we’re just too lazy to fight like a “work horse”.

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