Since I posted some audio of Senator Al Franken (D-MN) sending me to his press secretary recently, Mr. Franken has acted up quite a bit on the Senate floor in an unusual fashion for a freshman senator. He had an intense exchange with Senator John Thune (R – S.D.), the number four Republican in the GOP leadership, on Monday after Mr. Franken introduced a motion for the health care bill to change an excise tax to surtax(video below).
Yesterday, Mr. Franken did not allow senior Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) an extension to an alloted ten minutes to continue remarks on the floor. Yet again, Mr. Franken’s action against Mr. Lieberman was unusual for a freshman senator. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) commented on Senator Franken’s response towards the Connecticut Senator(video below).:
“I’ve been in this Senate 20-something years and it’s the first time I’ve seen a member denied an extra minute or two to finish his remarks. I don’t know what’s happening here, but I think it’s wrong.”
Senator Franken seems to enjoy tweaking a few individuals in the Senate itself, but he folds like a cheap lawn chair the moment he leaves the floor and is thrown the most benign questions from reporters who are waiting outside. Mr. Franken’s canned “speak to my press secretary” responses are beginning to wear thin on reporters around the Capitol. Pretending to be a player in the Senate and actually being one are two different things, and he is only making enemies too early on. If the Senator from Minnesota wants to play rough in the sandbox, he should learn how to play the game.