Sen. Al Franken? Don't laugh. The liberal liar who wrote "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" is "intrigued" by the possibility of running against Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota) in 2008. "I used to say I'd never run because I'd be a terrible officeholder. Now, I don't want to say that, because it would look bad if I ever did run," Franken notes. Coleman's response: "I have no comment. I don't do comedy."
A former "Saturday Night Live" comedian as a senatorial candidate? Stranger things have happened (see Ventura, Jesse, and Springer, Jerry). "Republicans always say, 'How dare Susan Sarandon and Martin Sheen get involved in politics!'" Franken whined to Newsweek. "Then, Arnold showed up, and it was 'Oooh! Arnold's running! Oooh! The Terminator!' Well, 'F' you!"
But seriously, folks, Mr. Laugh Riot would make a great candidate. He's got all the goods. He's witty: "(Rush Limbaugh) is very, very fat. The guy is enormous. He is very, very, very fat." He's photogenic, in the mold of Noam Chomsky, Yoda and other prominent lawn gnomes. He's loved by those on the left and those on the far left, speaking before cheering throngs of pot-smoking hippies everywhere.
Plus he's a truth teller. At least according to him. "Telling the truth is something I take seriously, and I try to hold myself to an impossibly high standard," he says.
Except when he's breathing. In April 2003, using Harvard University stationery, well-qualified Harvard Kennedy School of Government fellow Franken mailed a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft. In the letter, Franken asked for Ashcroft's "abstinence story" for a non-existent book titled "Savin' It!" "So far, I have received wonderful testimonies from HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, William J. Bennett, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, Sen. Rick Santorum and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. (I'm still hoping to hear back from the president!)" wrote Honest Al. This was a lie. After getting caught in his "high standard" of truth, Franken sheepishly apologized for misusing Harvard stationery.
Franken will personally work hard for his constituents -- just witness his deeply researched book. Fourteen Harvard graduate students were assigned to do research for him. After working his fingers to the bone sipping coffee and overseeing his minions, Rail-Splitter Franken compiled the information, slapped it into a glossy cover and sold it for $24.95. What a work ethic.