The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

30 June 2008

Franken Struggles To Grab Obama's Coattails


Many Obama Supporters Not Voting For Stuart Smalley

"It's not alive!"

If Stuart Smalley's political career were a movie, it would not resemble 1931's Frankenstein. That's because the monster he would like to create, a merged version of himself and Barack Obama, can't seem to get off of the operating table.

Yes, our modern- day Frankenstein might in fact be functional, if only somebody could find Obama's misplaced coattails. With the latter likely to carry Minnesota this November, Al needs every one of those voters to support him as well.

(Image by David A Lunde for the Radio Equalizer)

But in a story largely buried during a summer weekend, the former Air America Radio host is apparently having trouble with thousands of voters that normally would be expected to back the alleged funnyman.

From Minnesota Public Radio:

An independent poll shows Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., with a 10 point lead over his DFL-endorsed challenger Al Franken. But that same poll showed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama way ahead of Republican John McCain in Minnesota. That means a significant number of Minnesotans are planning to split their tickets.

St. Paul, Minn. — Cathy Kennedy still calls herself a Republican. She actually served as a press secretary for Republican Gov. Al Quie back in the late 1970s. But this year, she's been inspired by a Democrat.

"For the very first time in my life, I attended a DFL caucus this year to vote for Obama," Kennedy said.

"There is some dissonance in my mind."

- Shane Baker, a likely ticket-splitter

But she hasn't given up on the GOP, yet.

"I think the reason why we're talking is because I did give $25 to the Republican Party for kind of an anti-Franken effort," she added.

Kennedy isn't totally sold on Coleman. But at this point, she's leaning his way, because she doesn't see Franken, who has never held office before, as an acceptable alternative.

She is not alone. Take 24-year-old West St. Paul Democrat Matt Reubendale. He actually volunteered for Obama before the Iowa caucuses.

"[I] went down and door-knocked in some tiny town I can't even remember the name of," he said.

The Los Angeles Times Top Of The Ticket sheds further light on the problem:

In Minnesota, one-term Republican incumbent Norm Coleman led onetime "Saturday Night Live" cast member and writer Al Franken by 10 percentage points, 51% to 41%.

Franken ended up winning the state's Democratic Senate nomination more easily than expected, but during the spring he took flak over back corporate taxes he owed in 17 states and a raunchy article he wrote for Playboy magazine several years ago (when comedy still was his prime occupation).

The new poll found that Franken has not consolidated the Democratic vote in Minnesota as well as Coleman has his GOP base. But the former funnyman's big problem is with independents -- he trailed Coleman among this bloc by 20 percentage points.

Again, what is the appeal of Al Franken as a US Senate candidate? Until his "progressive" supporters can answer that simple question, expect the campaign to continue to stall.

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  • Post Turtle

    While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year-old Texas rancher, whose
    hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a
    conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Obama
    and his bid to be our President.
    The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Obama is a 'post turtle.'"
    Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a "post
    turtle" was. The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country
    road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top,
    that's a 'post turtle.'" The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the
    doctor's face, so he continued to explain. "You know...
    He didn't get up there by himself.
    He doesn't belong up there.
    He doesn't know what to do while he is up there.
    And you just wonder what kind of a dumb ass put him up there!"

    By Blogger mrhyde2200, at 30 June, 2008 21:31  

  • "Again, what is the appeal of Al Franken as a US Senate candidate?"

    REAL appeal? IMHO, very, very little, particularly after the tax imbroglio.

    It would have to be that he is not the vile Norm Coleman.

    By Anonymous hashfanatic, at 01 July, 2008 01:25  

  • Al Franken's appeal is his expressions of Progressive values. His promise of filling his old friend Paul Wellstone's seat with the same honesty and zeal that Paul did. Repealing the Bush tax cuts to the rich, finding a way out of Iraq, and improving Union rights are few things Al Franken stands for. As far as the taxes go, well they are now paid,and not to mention he has not defaulted on property like John McCain.

    By Blogger giles29, at 01 July, 2008 09:50  

  • In 2004 we learned that running a campaign that was based on “Anybody but (blank)” was a loser. Is the Frankin race confirming it?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 01 July, 2008 14:16  

  • Al Franken's appeal to the left-wing loons is their belief he has Progressive values, he will fill the Senate seat with the same honesty and zeal that Paul Wellstone did and Franken's promise to bring unicorns and rainbows to Minnesota.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 01 July, 2008 16:53  

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