Where’s Al?

The Franken campaign has been working hard, sending out press releases every time a commenter says he’s the apparent winner in the Senate race.

A few minutes ago, his campaign reacted to today’s Supreme Court ruling that said, basically, if Norm Coleman wants 650 more absentee ballots counted in the race, he should file a challenge to the election in court.

“Today, the Supreme Court once again affirmed the validity of the rules under which this recount was conducted. Minnesotans have waited a long time for a winner to be declared in this race, and today, with the last attempt to halt the counting process now having failed, Al Franken will be declared the winner.”

But the statement didn’t come from Al Franken. It came from attorney Marc Elias, his lead attorney in the recount. (Here’s a copy of the court order.)

Now that Franken is the presumptive winner of the recount, it’s time to ask some important questions. Here’s one: Where is Al Franken?

I’ve sent a couple of messages to the campaign officials today, but the only thing coming back are more press releases with more press clippings about the recount.

Here’s what I’d like to know:

  • What has Franken has been doing for the last few weeks? Is he he in Minneapolis or somewhere else? How has he been spending the time.
  • Obviously he’s been laying low but with all the claims of victory that the campaign has been sending out, will he be making some public appearances soon?
  • Is he making any plans to move his family to Washington?
  • Will he be attending the inauguration of the president?
  • Does he have any positions or comments on the last two months of political news and events that have gone on? What is his stance on Israel’s incursion into Gaza?

    Answers later (hopefully). Meanwhile, if you’ve seen Al Franken, let me know.

    Update 3:10 pm – Franken is to make a statement outside of his Minneapolis home at 4 pm

    • David Brauer

      Last place I saw Al was at the Take Action Minnesota dinner last month, probably three weeks ago.

    • George Hutchinson

      Who cares where Al is? He’s been staying away from the high drama of the recount and letting his campaign staffers take the heat. Same for Norm. Smart move boys.

      Both of them understand that they will harm their political reputations and invite criticism by commenting directly on the recount or by presumptivly assuming the role of senator-elect before the recount is complete. Survival instincts run strong among this cohort.

      We don’t need either of these two pounding rhetorical sand while election officials try to interpret the hen-scratchings of some of Minnesota’s over-educated population.

      Plenty of time for speech making later. The lawyers need to clean up a few details first.

    • tachikoma

      He’ll make some comments now that the State Canvassing Board met.

    • tachikoma

      4:00 P.M. is the presser from Franken’s home.

    • Bob Collins

      //Who cares where Al is? He’s been staying away from the high drama of the recount and letting his campaign staffers take the heat. Same for Norm. Smart move boys.

      I care. I’m not much interested in what smart politicians think. I care what members and would be members of the U.S. Senate think.

      Nor, do I care — in case you didn’t catch it in the post — what they think about the recount. I care what they think about important issues that the Senate will face. You know, kind of like they did up until 8pm Nov. 4th.

      My fingers are crossed that he’ll be quizzed about these (if, indeed, he takes questions). But my money is that they’ll never come up.

    • j

      I think the questions that you want answered aren’t exactly pertinent at this point, and the last three should probably be left for actual senators and senators-elect to answer. As it stands now, neither Coleman nor Franken hold the senate seat. To expect more campaigning at this point seems strange to me.

    • Tonya

      “To expect more campaigning at this point seems strange to me.”

      I don’t think Bob’s expecting campaigning, I think he’s just hoping that both candidates have been paying attention to Washington while the vote counting is going on.

    • MR


      I agree with Bob here. One of these two people will be our next senator from Minnesota, and they’ll have to be able to step into the job on whatever day it falls into their lap and be almost completely up to speed on the issues and bills facing the senate. Whoever it is won’t have the luxury of easing into the seat like the other newly elected senators, they’ll have to jump right in and start working. Staying up to speed on the business of the senate seems like it’s just a minimum requirement.

    • bsimon

      “Whoever it is won’t have the luxury of easing into the seat like the other newly elected senators, they’ll have to jump right in and start working. ”

      More importantly, they’ll miss out on the critical period during which senators do the office shuffle. Survivorrs jockey for the upgrade, while the freshmen pray for anything above ground and larger than a broom closet. Then there’s the committees. I can’t imagine what committees a senator would end up on if they aren’t there in person to make a case for themselves.

    • j

      I suppose I agree, MR. I just don’t see this as a forum to comment on specifically the last question. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think it may come off as a bit presumptuous for Franken to lay out his senatorial plans, as the Coleman camp has vowed that this will go to court. If that’s the case, Coleman should have a similar press conference as well, as he apparently believes he will get a second term.

      But I agree with the notion that Franken should have a position on all issues facing the nation, and he should be ready if/when he takes office. As a supporter, I got to know Franken as an extremely intelligent person who won’t take a spot in the senate lightly. I learned this by paying attention before the election. But I suppose there are those who he will have to “win over,” as it were.

    • Bob

      I do find it very disconcerting that neither Norm or Al has been weighing in on any of the major issues that have been raging recently.

      I’d really like to hear them say what, if anything, they would propose to help mitigate the $4.8 billion debt MN is facing. I think a little Fed bailout dough for MN would, as the English say, “Go down a right treat.”

      I’d also like to see them show some moral courage, and call for a U.N. peacekeeping force to be deployed to Gaza.

    • tachikoma

      I have to agree with Bob, it is disconcerting. It also seems kind of odd that neither Al nor Norm has stepped up to demonstrate their leadership ability and make statements or voice opinions on the major issues that are out there. Usually politicians are battling to show that they are ready “to get the job done.” Maybe, neither wanted to seem presumptuous…

    • http://kgsm.gac.edu/gboone Greg

      Like many others I agree with Bob.

      I more or less assumed that Stuart Smalley, I mean Al Franken, moved back to New York with to spend more time with his Harvard Researchers in preparation for a new book titled, “Norm Coleman is a Tall Gangly Idiot: and other observations,” which was abandoned after yesterday’s news because the book would not bode well for his career as a Senator. That’s the only reason I can come up with for why he hasn’t been around during the recount.

    • Carolynn

      Greg: I urge you to make yourself familar with the actual person who was running for the senate and with his opinions, speeches, and actions towards that end.

    • Hannah

      See? Even long winded and downright nasty Senate campaigns can still have a dose of MN nice.