Tales from the Trail

Feds unlikely to launch campaign finance probe anytime soon

October 26, 2010

For weeks, leading Democrats have castigated pro-Republican special interest groups involved in the current election campaign for what they describe as secretive fundraising practices. USA/

Al Franken’s moment of backsliding…

August 6, 2010

It was one of those moments Al Franken seems to work hard to suppress.

The comedian-turned-politician has kept a mostly straight face through his first year as a senator — listening seriously to hours of committee testimony and posing pointed questions with only the flicker of a smile crossing his face.
USA-COURTS/SOTOMAYOR
Thursday’s Senate debate over Elena Kagan was evidently too much for the clown in him to bear.

Healthcare critic Lieberman silenced in Senate

December 18, 2009

USA-HEALTHCARE/Senator Joe Lieberman, who has forced Democrats to jump through hoops on healthcare reform in recent weeks, was effectively told to be quiet and sit down on Thursday.

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.

Senator Franken draws no laughs but plenty of applause

July 7, 2009

Al Franken, a big-time comic turned Washington politician, received plenty of applause but no laughs on Tuesday when he finally took his seat as a member of the U.S. Senate.

A serious Franken vows to work hard in U.S. Senate

July 6, 2009

Former comedian Al Franken on Monday made it clear in his first appearance in the U.S. Capitol as senator-elect that he had not come to entertain.

The First Draft: Is Al Franken “Stuart Smalley”?

July 1, 2009

USA-SENATE/Plenty of current and former U.S. senators had memorable professions before they got to Washington: country fiddler (Robert Byrd of West Virginia), astronaut (John Glenn of Ohio), jewelry-maker (Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado). But none were dogged by a satirical persona, as is already happening to newly-confirmed Democratic Senator-elect Al Franken of Minnesota.

The First Draft: Recess!

June 29, 2009

USA/There’s a real school’s-out feeling around Washington today. Congress left town last week after the House voted for bill to curb climate change, and most lawmakers won’t be back until after the July 4 holiday weekend. The Supreme Court issues its last rulings of the term, with a full sheaf of decisions expected — but then the justices will be gone for the summer.

Minnesota Democrat Franken calls on Biden

May 7, 2009

frankenDemocrat Al Franken went to Washington on Wednesday — but not to to claim the Minnesota Senate seat Republican incumbent Norm Coleman lost in the November election. Franken, a comic turned politician, called on Vice President Joe Biden at the White House to talk about policy issues and the still-unresolved Minnesota contest he hopes will end with a win for the Democrats.

Whoever runs in Minnesota stays in Minnesota?

March 26, 2009

Nearly five months after the 2008 election, there’s no sign that either Norm Coleman or Al Franken will definitively be declared the winner in the race for one of Minnesota’s U.S. Senate seats, allowing him to spend the next six years in Washington.