How do you grade Al Franken’s first year in the Senate?

It’s a year since the Minnesota election recount ended with Al Franken going to Washington. Today’s Question: How do you grade Al Franken’s first year in the Senate?

  • Sue de Nim

    I think he’s been remarkably effective. He’s gotten some really good legislation passed, starting with his dogs-for-vets bill. Of course, right-wingers love to pounce on any comment they can reasonably label as outrageous, but compared with Michelle Bachmann, he’s been an exemplar of civility.

  • Jamie

    I couldn’t agree more with Sue. I think he’s doing very well.

  • James
  • Sarah

    I’m proud of Senator Franken. He’s been smart, thoughtful, and polite in his appearances, but he’s also not afraid to be blunt about issues & problems. I honestly think his fellow senators are grateful that someone in the room has the guts to speak out. Once Al speaks up, they all start agreeing! I couldn’t be more happy with his job performance.

  • Dan

    Amazingly well. Better than most new senators. Better than many senators period. He’s turned out to be one of the most serious and knowledgable senators in the entire senate.

  • Kelly

    I was shocked at his behavior in one of his first hearings when he would not allow Senator McCain to speak. His crass comments about the ‘Robert’s Court’ were embarrassing. He has a lot to learn about civility.

  • Christine Graf

    Outstanding. Check out the recent article in the July 12 Newsweek. Also CBS News online: “n July, his Service Dogs for Veterans Act passed with bipartisan support. He has co-sponsored proposed legislation with Hatch to recruit better principals for troubled schools; with Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) to end the rape-kit backlog; and with Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) to push a diabetes prevention act. His committee leaders think the world of his preparation and dedication.

    We’re so lucky to have him: would you want Michelle Bachman to be the face of Minnesota?

  • Kristin Anderson

    I am very pleased with Al Franken. He is smart and he does his homework. He uses facts to support his stance. He is interested in serving the needs of the people of MN.

  • CC&H

    I agree with Sue, Sarah, Dan and Christine. I am extremely proud of him and impressed with the job he’s doing!

    We have waited a long time, but could he be our new Wellstone?

  • Sieglinde Gassman

    I second and third all of those who are feeling extremely well-served by our newest Senator. His thoughtful choices of legislation to sponsor and support have benefitted we the people, our nation and the global community. He is wise beyond my expectation and, as others have noted, beyond what we’ve been getting from others in Congress!

  • EAL

    Senator Franken is an intelligent individual. Conversely! First, he is on a rampage that the recent Supreme Court ruling is for corporations but neglects to include unions, non-profits and other organizations. So in he recent Supreme Court hearings, he was on a diatribe on the ruling rather than engage the candidate. Second, he was elected due to his sharp tongue from being a satirist (his word). It is disingenuous to those who voted for his sharp tongue which has been significantly tapered since joining the Senate. Finally, his juvenile remarks about rape should never have been accepted by the DFL which preaches respect for women, diversity, etc. His lame apology was only done to for political purposes. This whole scenario was a faux pas.

  • bsimon

    He has exceeded expectations, which is arguably a benefit stemming from the soft bigotry of low expectations.

  • Amy

    Exceptionally effective, bright and he has a great heart!

  • Joe

    He’s doing about what I expected. I heard him speak a few times, not in person, but before he even had a radio show and could tell he pays attention to issues. Didn’t care for the radio show much but he seems to be doing a great job. There will still be those who call him a clown and such but I think he silenced most of those voices. Clown? hmm I’ll save that thought for a post somewhere else.

  • Terry VanDerPol

    Senator Franken is doing an excellent job. The issues he raised in the Kagan hearings on conservative judicial activism and the increasing intrusion of big corporations into our everyday lives and our democracy are among the most critical issues of the day. He makes me proud to be a Minnesotan!

  • Bobby A

    Al gets an A. I’m proud we sent Frankensence and mirth to Washington !

  • Kirk

    I expected him to do a reasonably good job as a new senator. I did not expect him to EXCELL at it as he has.

  • Gerald Myking

    Actually he has surprised me. All though I disagree with him idiologically I have to admit he does rather well. Logic should have told me a clown would fit right in with the Circus. I would have been satisfied with his perfomance if he had only gone unnoticed. He has demostrated that he is knowledgble and does have a passion for what he is doing.

  • Audrey

    Senator Franken is exceeding expectations. He has introduced many bills and has one of the highest number of those that have passed with bipartisan cooperation. As one of the most junior senators, he has been extremely active. Al is emerging as the voice in taking on corporate America and the diminishing rights of individuals in favor of corporations. He is raising big issues to call attention to the fact that the Supreme Court is now the puppet of the banks and corporate America. I am a proud supporter of Senator Franken!

  • Karen

    A+ Al is one of the smartest on the hill. He leads and advocates for his values not just safe issues. 7 measures that Al co-sponsored passed through the Senate. He proposed key additions to the health care and wall street reform bills and is a leader in education reform. Go Al!

  • Ellen

    Al Franken is AWESOME! He has surpassed all of my expectations…I am extremely proud of him and I feel much more hopeful about the state of Minnesota and our country as well having him as our representative.

  • Mary

    Intelligent, well researched bills and votes, representative of Minnesota issues, sensitive and respectful of the complicated situation under which he began his work. Senator Franken follows in the wise senatorial traditions of good men like David Durenberger and Walter Mondale.

  • Stephen Maupin

    I think hes doing a great job being a freshman

    senator. He has fresh perspective on things

    and he is a fast-learner in a very difficult job.

    He is smart and a great sense of humor (maybe a little too sarcastic). He grew up in St Louis Park which is a great place to live and knows the heartbeat of Minnesotans!

  • Ben

    I think he has been a good senator for MN thus far. I think he has been a big disappointment to conservatives who thought they were getting someone they could get a good sound bite gaff from on a regular basis that they could parade on Fox news.

    He has done what we like here in MN. Hasn’t rocked the boat too much while continuing to do what 51% (I’m rounding up) of us sent him to do.

  • suestuben

    Yay, Al!! Fantastic job. I am so proud of him. He has the Wellstone seat and somewhere Paul is smiling broadly.

  • Philip

    If he can continue to do his job without the smart, alienating comments (i.e. Air America) then I’ll say he’s doing well.

  • James J. Johnson

    As a freshman he has done quite well. I would give him a grade of “A” and I expect that he’ll get better as he gains a little seniority.

    Compared to the previous senator, whom he replaced, he is better representing the citizens of Minnesota and has the people’s interests at heart as opposed to big business and the fat cats. Yeah Al!!!

  • ceb

    He is a fine senator. When I think of what it would be it would be like if Coleman had prevailed (non-representation and gobbledy gook) I am even more grateful to have Al Franken as a senator from MN with the best interests of the state of MN in mind.

    We are proud to have Franken and Klobuchar as senators from MN.

  • Clark

    F- and if I could find a lower grade it would be in capital letters. He is clueless and does not represent the majority of the population. He does not understand economics or incentives and what drives the economy. He is the worst of the worst. He is a HUGE embarrassment.

  • Chris

    Surprisingly, I would give him a B+. I voted for him while holding my nose, but now I think he is doing pretty well. I would vote for him again if he keeps it up (not holding my nose).

  • S Johnson

    Al gets an A-. He may well be one of the smartest and most informed senators in the chamber. He’ll be reelected in a landslide when the time comes. Bet the farm on it.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Contrary to Clark’s opinion, I think Senator Franken is remarkably astute. For one thing, he’s smart enough not to believe the superstition that the unregulated pursuit of profit by amoral corporations will somehow magically make everyone better off.

  • Clark

    Steve the Cynic: How long have you been unemployed and living on government handouts? No corporate profit, no jobs. They tried your way in Soviet Union but alas I won’t work hard so you can be a lazy slob.

    I repeat, franken has no clue nor does obama. I will be celebrating in November when the far left democrats get clobbered.

  • Arabian Girl

    It’d be interesting to hear some examples of why someone would give Franken an F…besides the sound of stomping feet.

  • Steve the Cynic

    To answer your question, Clark, never. Regarding your point, you are setting up a false dilemma. You assume we have to choose between Soviet-style economic central planning and unregulated free enterprise. You forget that hundreds of millions of people around the world in the early 20th century thought socialism was a good idea precisely because laissez faire capitalism had repeated failed miserably. It’s what brought on the Great Depression, remember. History clearly shows that what works best for promoting the common good is capitalism-on-a-leash, not either extreme.

  • Clark

    Steve the Cynic:

    Capitalism on a leash is fine but we all know congress and especially the democrats do not know how to restrain their urge for control of all aspects of business. Equal opportunity not acceptable now its equality of outcome unrelated to merit. Your hero wellstone is a great expample of risks of over regulation. In mid 1990’s democrats passed luxury tax on yachts over $100,000. The wealthy simply had their yachts built in other countries and 20,000 boats builders were unemployed. I simplpy don’t trust far left democrats like obama and pelosi.

  • Steve the Cynic

    So, whom should we trust, Clark? Goldman Sachs? BP?

  • Clark

    Personally I would put my faith in BP or Goldman over idiot obama and the old hag pelosi

  • Steve the Cynic

    Reasoning with people who hold opinions like that is a fool’s errand.

  • Allen

    Franken gets an “F”!!! He’s a big fat idiot!!!!