Saturday, February 17, 2007

You Can Call Him Al...

After months of breathless speculation, we've finally heard the important news that rocked the world. Britney Spears went bald.

Oh, and former Err America host Al Franken is running for the Senate against Republican Norm Coleman.

And this treatment of Franken's decision to run as being more of an afterthought is by design. It's no big secret that Franken wanted to run, and given the fact that his radio show, and Err America in general, has flopped more than me diving into a swimming pool, a jump to a Senate run was almost a foregone conclusion.

The political fortunes seem to be with him. After all, Minnesota elected Keith Ellison, so electing Franken isn't that far out of the realm of possibility. And let's not forget that Jesse Ventura was Governor there once, so they're liable to do anything.

Ultimately, though, I think Franken's quest to become a Senator will go the way of his dream of being the liberal version of Rush. He's only moved back to Minnesota fairly recently, but most of the time he hasn't lived there, instead preferring New York City. It's Hillary Clinton in reverse, pretty much. Just watch for Franken commenting about being a "lifelong Twins fan" soon.

Another element that hinders Franken is Midwestern sensibilities. Being a Midwesterner myself, I can tell you that we can sense bullplop from a mile away, and Minnesotans are no different. Unless Franken completely reinvents himself, he is going to come off badly. Then again, the fact he would have to completely reinvent himself in the first place pretty much dooms him, doesn't it?

The final straw to Franken's campaign will be the fact that he doesn't do very well with average people. When he came to Des Moines in 2004 for the Iowa Caucuses, on his trip home, he tried to push ahead of the security line that had already formed, stating that he was an "important person" who should be given special consideration and allowed to go through the security checkpoint before the others in line. Fortunately, the security folks didn't let him do it, but it does show off a side to Franken that doesn't play well with the public. We don't like it when people try to pull the "I'm important" card to make their lives a little easier at the expense of the "little guy." There will be plenty of time to do that if he becomes Senator, but until that time, he has to appeal to the "little guy" and I don't think he can do it.

I hate to break this to you, Al, but I don't think you stand a chance of winning a Senate seat unless Norm Coleman does something stupid. Wait. I'm sorry. I didn't tell the truth just now.

I loved breaking it to you.

Mea culpa.

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