Tales from the Trail

Funnyman Franken turns serious on Senate stage

July 13, 2009

The Senate’s newest member, former comedian Al Franken, is making clear that he is taking the new job seriously and it’s no longer funny business for him.

Sworn in as a senator less than a week ago, there were no jokes when Franken faced a packed house in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room and expounded on the loftiest of government institutions – the U.S. Supreme Court — and President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor.USA-COURTS/SOTOMAYOR

It was a life-immitating-art moment. Franken had played a senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee on television comedy show Saturday Night Live during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

But there were no jokes this time, barely a smile.

“Last Tuesday, I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to bear true faith and allegiance to it,” Franken said.

“I take this oath very seriously as we consider your nomination, Judge Sotomayor.”

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Photo credit: Reuters/Richard Clement (Franken at

Sotomayor hearing)

Comments
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considering that the supreme court – sotomayor’s putative colleagues – just overturned another of her decisions, the confirmation hearings will demonstrate just how serious former funny man franken really is

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