On Monday, Al Franken made his first public appearance In Minnesota since leaving office. It was at an event for the opening of a school for Native Americans, a subject close to him after having served on the Indian Affairs Committee when in the Senate. (He writes about his involvement with Native Americans and the committee extensively in his book, Giant of the Senate. For all its subsequent issues of timing, it's a terrific book, dealing mostly with his first campaign and the long recount where he won by only a few hundred votes. But there's a lot in there, as well, particularly about his fascinating process learning the daily job of being a senator.)
This video below is a brief story on WCCO-TV in Minneapolis about that public event, after which Franken and his wife Frannie sit down for a short interview.
By the way, not long after Franken resigned his seat, I'd wondered if he might run in the general election to give voters the voice as to whether they wanted him to represent them or not. His actions towards some women during the years when he was a comedian or running for office were improper (whether intended as a misguided joke or whether, possibly, he got too "handsy"), and I understood why he -- being who he is -- chose to resign. But I felt at the time, that given what he did and when he did it before being in the Senate, it was so far less a transgression than many public officials we've since seen, that there were other penalizing actions that could have been taken against him. And as the months have passed, the perspective of his actions -- while inappropriate -- seem even far less than others in comparison. But he chose not to run for the seat, and left that to a new slate.
So, it was all the more interesting to me when he is asked during this interview if he does have plans to run again for public office that he doesn't answer yes -- or no. That instead he answers he simply doesn't know. He may not. But it's certainly notable that he doesn't rule it out, that it's something that has at least entered his mind.
Mind you, I don't know if he ever will. And if he does, I don't know what seat it would be for. I don't think he'd run against an incumbent Democrat. So, some of the decision might depend on who wins this race for his Senate seat. Or perhaps on ifAmy Klobuchar decides to run for president and gives up her seat. Or perhaps run for the House of Representatives. Or maybe Minnesota governor. Or nothing. But from his book, he clearly loved the Senate. And that's clear, too, in this interview.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor