Anyone who is looking for insight into what kind of Senator Al Franken will be, got a little bit of insight from an interview that Franken did with Minnesota Public Radio. Franken drew parallels between his situation and that of former Senator, now Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s situation when she arrived in Washington.
Franken said that he has been consulting with Hillary Clinton’s former Senate chief of staff on Senate business. Franken pointed out the similarities between his celebrity arrival and hers, “There’s something in Hillary as a model for me, because Hillary, well she came in with a different kind of celebrity obviously. But there was a kind of skepticism where she had to prove herself a certain way and also prove not to be a kind of a show horse, but to be a work horse. And so I want to you know put my head down and get to work when I get there.”
If Al Franken enters the Senate the same way that Hillary Clinton did, he will be in great shape. Clinton came to the Senate and assumed the role of the junior Senator from New York. Clinton stayed out of the spotlight, until she decided to run for president, and worked. Republicans are playing up the idea that Franken is going to be some sort of loud mouthed comedian in the Senate.
No one should be surprised if Franken travels the opposite path. I would not be surprised if Franken stayed off of the cable news networks and the Sunday talk shows. I suspect that he will assume a fairly low profile in the Senate.
Franken has often mentioned the name of former Minnesota liberal Senator, the late Paul Wellstone, and it would be great if he could bring a little of that style of liberalism to the Senate. The Democrats may have 60 votes in the Senate, but many of the new Senators are conservative Red State Democrats. It would be refreshing to hear a new liberal voice in the Senate.