The Al Franken Story: A Campaign in Four Minutes

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Democrats didn't used to think Al Franken could win a Senate seat from Minnesota, but in the last month polling and fundraising have started to move his way. Incumbent Republican Norm Coleman, who beat Walter Mondale to win the seat six years ago, tried to pummel Franken into submission with a negative ad campaign and a steady drip of stories about his scandals and hypocrisy. It didn't work, so Coleman's dramatically announced an end to negative ads from his shop.

The whole saga reminded me of a skit from the late, belated Mr. Show, wherein one grocer drives another out of business through political-style attack ads. Because Franken and Coleman throw all their ads online, you can watch how the year played out with a few mouse clicks and about four minutes of attention. It's a microcosm of the whole election: a Republican shocked that he can't beat an obvious liberal, who rebuffs every single character attack as a distraction and ties his opponent to Bush.







You don't get the feeling of… sincerity in that last ad. Well, in any of them.

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  1. Doomed I tellz ya.

  2. As much as I dislike Franken, I have to admit, if he is in the Senate he won’t be on SNL or doing any comedy. Given the quality of his comedy since about 1985, that is a good reason to send him to Washington.

  3. I’ll still be surprised if Franken wins. Coleman probably had the most vunerable senate seat for a incumbent going into the the season, and the Dem’s are probably going to blow by picking such a poor candidate.

  4. Is this another one of those threads that we all start talking about egg recipes?

  5. As much as I dislike Al Franken’s stand on many, many issues, Coleman voted for the bailout. Al might have done the same thing, but I would pick a potential looter over a known looter.

    Fuck Norm Coleman.

    -jcr

  6. If Al Franken wins that election I am leaving the country!

  7. Just for the record:

    There’s no frickin’ way I’m watching those videos. I never shoot myself on a Friday afternoon.

  8. As a current Minnesotan with no party affiliation, I’m thinking Franklin will win. I’m not happy about it as I don’t consider him a Minnesotan. Sure, he was a kid here, but that was long ago. I was born in D.C., but that doesn’t mean I’d make a good Mayor there.

    Add to that Franklin’s lack of experience and non-Senatorial temperament, and what we’re looking at here is another Jesse Ventura act.

  9. Any Senator who voted for the bailout needs to go. Although Franken is probably going to be just as bad; under him, he’ll instead fund corporate health care queens instead of voting for funding corporate bank welfare queens.

  10. Is this another one of those threads that we all start talking about egg recipes?

    Only if they keep pushing it to the top.
    I like mustard in my deviled eggs. I usually use the Colemans in the little jar.Does anyone use dry mustard?

  11. Sincerity out of Coleman?
    About as likely as honorable behavior out of McCain.

    no hugs for thugs,
    Shirley Knott

  12. Here’s video of Al Franken getting into Norm Coleman’s face. He’s so classy I expect Reason to endorse him any day now.

  13. …Franklin’s lack of experience and non-Senatorial temperament…

    those are features, not bugs

  14. Is this another one of those threads that we all start talking about egg recipes?

    nope it is Minnestoa, we need to be talking about lefse and lutefisk…or at least jello “salad” with minature marshmellows.

  15. Norm Coleman was elected in 2002 as a supporter of Bush’s project war on Iraq, and he voted for the Patriot Act, the Prescription Drug benefit, and the Wall Street Bail-out.

    Al Franken is not a serious alternative. Dean Barkley is polling close to 20% as the Independence Party candidate. Barkley calls for ending the Iraq War, bringing the troops home, and bringing down the deficit through cuts in government.

    Info @ http://www.barkleyforsenate.org/

  16. John | October 17, 2008, 4:16pm | #

    As much as I dislike Franken, I have to admit, if he is in the Senate he won’t be on SNL or doing any comedy. Given the quality of his comedy since about 1985, that is a good reason to send him to Washington.

    That’s exactly how I felt about Bono and Schwarzenegger 🙂

  17. I’ll save my Artichoke Quiche recipe for another time then.

  18. Coleman just screams douche and he always has. I’ve never found Franken to be funny, hated that Smiley bit, and his timing in both writing and delivery is just awful. However, given the turd salad is running against the squishy douche sandwich, no big loss or gain either way.

  19. It’s no mean achievement to make Al Franken look like an acceptable alternative to yourself. I thought he had no chance, but Norm Coleman has proven me wrong.

  20. Al Franken (who I’m not) winning will be the ultimate repudiation of the Republican party. Will Sean Insanity even be able to speak announcing this one?

  21. Will Sean Insanity even be able to speak announcing this one?

    Ah! I see what you did there.

  22. Al Franken (who I’m not) winning will be the ultimate repudiation of the Republican party. Will Sean Insanity even be able to speak announcing this one?

    As a rule, I don’t watch that crybaby manchild, but if Franken pulls it off, at least there is that.

  23. Join the Facebook group: Al Franken is a Spiteful Troll

  24. As a rule, I don’t watch that crybaby manchild, but if Franken pulls it off, at least there is that.

    and it isn’t his politics as much as it is his personality and violin string emotionalism that makes the fella irksome to my cold hearted, green eye shades sensibility. I can listen to Limbaugh for a segment, no problem, but Hannity, the man is in need of a bitch slapping.

  25. barkley, barkley, barkley

    barkley

  26. As a MN-an, it is interesting to me that Franken has drawn closer in the polls not by gaining supporters, but by having so many of Coleman’s folks defect to Barkley.

    My prediction is that most of those Barkley folks will actually pull the Coleman lever on election night because they won’t be able to stand the thought of Franken being our senator.

  27. You didn’t include the best Franken counter-ad to a Coleman attack ad.

    Here it is (with a small clip of the original Coleman ad as well):

    http://tpzoo.wordpress.com/2008/10/11/coleman-campaign-ad-against-al-franken-plain-dishonesty/

  28. “Here’s video of Al Franken getting into Norm Coleman’s face. He’s so classy I expect Reason to endorse him any day now.”

    Oooooh! Franken stood close to Coleman and TALKED to him! The site says Mrs. Franken “ran” onstage to separate them…. yes, she did, at a slow walk.

  29. I don’t consider him a Minnesotan. Sure, he was a kid here, but that was long ago. I was born in D.C., but that doesn’t mean I’d make a good Mayor there.

    Welcome to modern politics. You move to where you can win.

  30. I was born in D.C., but that doesn’t mean I’d make a good Mayor there.

    I think you’d have to work like hell to be any worse than the mayors they’ve had already.

    -jcr

  31. I love that Mr. Show skit.

    It’s the “Fairsley Difference”!

  32. Reason should do more to promote, or at least mention, the Independence Party in MN. They lean libertarian, and are a lot more legit(vote-getting and general non-craziness) than the national Libertarians. Sorry to all the purists out there, but Ron Paul (love the guy) and even Bob Barr (so-so on the guy) aren’t getting elected. Dean Barkley has an honest chance.

  33. Franken always struck me as a B-grade (at best) comedian who would be a total jerk in person. Coleman makes me think of Frankenstein’s monster, or maybe someone who was in a bad accident and the doctors did the best they could.

    Nope, nothing insightful to say about the politics involved….

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