It’s been rumored for a while and now it’s official: Al Franken is running for U.S. Senate from Minnesota. There’s a video message from Franken about this posted to his web site and on YouTube. He talks about his family background and that of his wife and ties that to his motivation for running.
If you watch, you will see it’s a very serious statement, and going forward I will be interested to see if he deploys humor on the campaign trail. Clearly Franken has achieved what he has in life in large part because he’s a funny guy. Will he use this talent at all in seeking office, or will he feel the need to prove how serious he is and refrain from any gags?
The latter looks more likely, based on this initial statement, which opened with Franken’s admission that, “Minnesotans have a right to be skeptical about whether I’m ready for this challenge, and to wonder how seriously I would take the responsibility that I’m asking you to give me.” Later he adds, “I may be a comedian by trade, but I’m pasionate about the issues.”
The AP story notes that Franken is “expected to be challenged by several other Democrats, including wealthy trial attorney Mike Ciresi.” We’ll also get to see whether rivals try to make the case that a comedian lacks the seriousness necessary to be a senator.