After careful review, I have decided that I will vote in support of the agreement the United States and our international partners reached with Iran last month. It's not a conclusion I came to lightly. Since the deal was announced, I've consulted with nuclear and sanctions experts inside and outside government; Obama administration officials, including Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz; ambassadors from the other countries that negotiated alongside us; advocates for Israel on both sides of the issue; my constituents in Minnesota; and, of course, my colleagues in the Senate.
Every congressional session for the past five years, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has introduced legislation to protect LGBT students from harassment and bullying at public schools. Every time, it hasn't so much as received a vote on the Senate floor. But on Tuesday, Franken thinks his long-suffering bill might finally win passage.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) brought her populist message Saturday to this small college town to rev up the final weeks of Sen. Al Franken's reelection campaign, but also to claim the mantle of the modern liberal movement's political godfather. Speaking before more than 400 people at Carleton College, Warren repeatedly invoked the spirit of the late Paul Wellstone, the fiery liberal senator who died 12 years ago this month in a plane crash during his reelection campaign. Wellstone remains a revered figure in Minnesota politics, and his brand of populism -- out of step in the Clintonian Democratic Party of the 1990s -- is now mainstream among leading liberal activists.
Democratic Senator Al Franken and Republican businessman Mike McFadden met for their first debate on Wednesday morning, tangling over the war on ISIS, a proposed mining project, and health care. McFadden said Franken had been “Washingtonized” and accused him of hewing closely to President Obama’s agenda. During a question on foreign policy, Franken said it was “easy to score political points from the bleachers,” and accused his opponent of failing to take a clear position on addressing the Syrian conflict earlier. With just over a month until Election Day, debate season is kicking into high gear with a number scheduled that feature Democratic incumbents in closely contested races.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden went on the offensive Wednesday in his first one-on-one debate with Democrat Al Franken, criticizing Franken's record and repeatedly tying him to President Barack Obama. Franken, befitting his role as an incumbent who leads in fundraising and polling, largely played defense, calmly parrying the criticisms and detailing what he sees as his accomplishments. The two clashed early over McFadden's attempt to paint Franken as a rubber stamp for his party and a yes-man for an unpopular president.
It must be said at this point: Sen. Al Franken is just dull. How dull is he? He says the most memorable conversation he's had as a senator — "hilarious" even — was a wonkish discussion with former President Clinton about how to finance energy retrofits. During travels throughout the state, he stops at Dairy Queen and always orders the same thing: a plain vanilla cone. The former "Saturday Night Live" writer and actor generally shuns the national media unless it's to talk about one of his obscure pet issues, such as corporate media mergers or net neutrality.
With the hard-earned experience of two major wars during the last 12 years, Americans have developed a renewed understanding of the need to support our service members in battle and throughout their active-duty service.
When Rand Paul needed a zinger, Al Franken gave him a suggestion: a self-deprecating joke about suffering through childhood with a libertarian father who wouldn’t let up on the gold standard. Franken tries to keep it serious but is always up for a laugh.
Since he arrived in the Senate three years ago, the former “Saturday Night Live” star has tried to project an ultra-serious public image of a studious and hard-working senator who shuns the media spotlight. But behind the scenes, Al Franken is still Al Franken.