Franken at summer victory rally
National news reporters are at least a little frustrated with new Minnesota Sen. Al Franken.
First, he seldom displays the humor he used when he wrote and starred on “Saturday Night Live.” Second, he doesn’t talk to them.
The Hill, a respected newspaper covering Congress, updated its readers about the Democrat who joined the Senate this summer after a long election and post-election battle with Norm Coleman.
“As a senator, the former ‘Saturday Night Live’ star has delivered only one speech on the floor, introduced low-profile legislation and declined many media interview requests,” reporter J. Taylor Rushing wrote. “It is not unusual for a freshman senator to adopt a deferential approach in a chamber that is high on decorum and seniority. But the former entertainer has gone out of his way to deflect attention away from himself.”
Franken’s lack of jokes may generate the most frustration among the media. But Rushing uncovered one inside-the-beltway funny from a private Democratic meeting:
“’Al said we should do away with the seniority system,’ said a Democratic senator who spoke on condition of anonymity, ‘which was pretty funny, considering how low down he is in seniority.’
“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s, D-Nevada, deadpan response, according to others in the room: ‘Al, you’re not funny any more. You’ve joined the Senate.’”
That may be the biggest scoop the national media has yet to dig up about Franken.