Al Franken’s lousy weekend

The Al Franken campaign in Minnesota has a dynamic public relations machine. No sooner does something happen in politics, than a news release appears in the inbox of every reporter.

But not today. The Star Tribune, said to be the worst friend the Republicans have had since Checkers the dog, has endorsed Norm Coleman.

Oh, so did the Pioneer Press.

Update – Franken appeared on WCCO. He says he and the editorial board disagreed on the bailout bill. He then launched into his stump speech, which at this point in the campaign has become more noticeable with Franken. There’s not a lot of improv and while it’s good to get a message out, one doesn’t get the sense there’s a real conversation taking place.

He was asked again about the endorsement and the contention that Coleman is better to work in a bipartisan fashion, and he talked about ending the war. He didn’t stray from the message and that obviously is the goal of a campaign, but from a warm-and-fuzzy aspect — and at this stage of the campaign, these things tend to come down to that — he didn’t deliver in a way that might’ve eased the shock of people waking up to the news that the Strib endorsed Coleman.

  • I’m surprised that the Pioneer Press was as complimentary as it was toward Franken, even as they endorsed Coleman instead.

  • I think you’ve missed what’s happened to the Strib in the last two years. It was zero surprise that they endorsed Coleman… we at MNpublius publicly predicted it early in the week. MediaMatters has a fantastic piece that sums it up.

    I don’t think this isn’t lousy for Franken, honestly.

  • Joshua

    Go Coleman!

    I am very surprised

  • Franken is the big test to see if this is the year when absolutely anyone can be elected as a Democrat.

    Right now, the answer looks like it will come back “No” after all.

  • justin

    While it might be nice to hear something other than a stump speech, at this point in the campaign, any politician with half a brain is going to stick to the language that they know is safe. Franken is up by 3 points (within the margin) and he’d be foolish to say anything jeprodizing that.

  • Bob Collins

    Oh, I agree, you’ve got to stick to your themes and your messages but if someone is asking you a question, you’ve got to sound like you’re answering the one that was asked at some point. Franken being up 3 is somewhat questionable. The SCSU poll has Coleman up 9, although that was all as opposed to registereds or likelies

    Historically, independent candidates not named Ventura loose support in the last week (otherwise Tim Penny would be governor), so I image it depends where those voters go.

    But just watching TV today, boy there’s a lot of anti-Franken ads on right now.

  • Al

    I just scratch my head over why people swung toward Franken in the midst of the financial crisis. This is a man whose crack financial advisor couldn’t figure out where to pay taxes and Franken didn’t catch it himself. The tax thing seems easy to dismiss at first. However, something tells me that if I were applying for a job and screwed up so big on a topic related to the job I would never get an interview.

    Also, if you’re looking for someone less partisan than Colemen, certainly the host of left-wing radio show isn’t the candidate for you.

    Don’t get me wrong, I won’t consider voting for Coleman, but the Democrats would have a hard time finding someone I’d like to vote for less. My vote is for Barkley this time. If the Dem. Party wants my vote they’ll have to do better next time.

  • I’m a democrat but I wish things were different here in Minnesota. Check out my TPT debate reaction:

  • dan iverson

    It’s still a free country and i believe most of our votes are still counted. My vote is still for Mr. Franken although he is obviuosly no Hubert Humprey. And some would say that’s good also.

    But, I believe Al’s intentions are firmly anchored in the same fundamental values of human rights of Humprey. In this, he has been passionate . And, what is wrong with passion in politics, the arts, the environment or anything else in life.

  • Bob Collins

    Good blog post, Ishum. But, golly, I hate blogs in which I don’t know the name of the person who’s doing the writing. It’s Brodkorbian.

  • Steve

    It’s less lousy for Franken than it is for the Strib.

    I suspect they are not going to like the circulation drop they’re going to get moving farther and farther to the right wing.

    I gave up on them as a reasonably non-biased news source some time ago.

  • Bob Collins

    It’s unfortunate, I think, if an editorial causes people to cancel their subscriptions. The editorial pages are supposed to make us angry or instill debate and while some may disagree with the endorsement, a cancellation sends this message: Be afraid — be very afraid — to anger the people who buy your product.

    That can only lead to more editorials extolling the virtues of the hot fudge sundae.

  • Gary Lee

    I believe another factor in Mr. Franken’s responses these past couple of weeks is the sheer fatigue he is feeling. I’ve watched him over the past six months, and he is steadily running himself ragged. A downside of being passionate is the level of energy it takes to sustain. This campaign has been very hard on all of the candidates, not just for senate. It has been down and dirty for every vote, and it is showing in all of the candidates.