Al Franken, the comedian, actor, author and radio host, will seek another title to add to his résumé: United States senator. According to multiple sources, Franken has finally decided to challenge conservative Republican Norm Coleman after years of debating the possibility.
Sen. Coleman, who grew up in New York and moved to Minnesota later in life, is expected to make an issue of Franken’s time in New York and his Hollywood background. In response, Franken has said, “If I do run against Norm Coleman in ‘08, I’ll be the only New York Jew in the race who actually grew up in Minnesota.”
On Monday, Franken announced that he was quitting his radio show on Feb. 14, and he told his audience that they’d be the first to know of his decision. But Franken has been working the phones in recent days, telling his political friends he’s ready to declare his candidacy. McClatchy Newspapers confirmed Wednesday that Franken made calls to at least two members of the Minnesota congressional delegation in Washington to break the news. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity, not wanting to pre-empt Franken’s announcement.
“From his voice to my ears, he’s running,” said one House member, who relayed the remark via his press secretary.
“I can tell you we got one of those calls,” said a top-ranked aide for another House member.