Simply put, Al Franken announced this morning that he’s resigning from the U.S. Senate, though he isn’t resigning effective immediately. Good riddance. Tucker Carlson summed things up perfectly in his monologue last night, saying in part “Franken was a mediocre senator and a thoroughly miserable person. Cruel to those beneath him, narcissistic, monumentally self-righteous. Al Franken should have been exposed years ago for the nasty poser he always was.

Instead, he was celebrated by the media, he was protected by a Democratic establishment that found him useful. Very few people who knew Al Franken personally, including me, are mourning his departure from Washington. Good riddance.”

This morning’s speech was vitriol-filled and bitter sounding. On one level, that’s understandable. On another, it’s typical Franken. He’s always tried to portray himself as Paul Wellstone’s friend and ideological ally. While there’s little doubt that they shared the same ideology, there’s no doubt that Franken and Wellstone were opposites in terms of integrity. Personality-wise, Franken was bitter and mean-spirited. He has a short fuse. That isn’t who Paul Wellstone, who had a sunny disposition.

Now the question is whether Franken actually resigns and who Gov. Dayton names as Franken’s replacement if he resigns. Thus far, the reporting is that Gov. Dayton will appoint Tina Flint-Smith, his lieutenant governor, to fill the spot with the understanding that she wouldn’t run for re-election.

The most notable part of Franken’s speech is that he said he recalled some of the accusations differently without elaborating. That’s been his storyline throughout. While it’s disappointing, it isn’t surprising. Let me echo Tucker’s thoughts on Franken: Good riddance.

UPDATE: Here’s the text of Franken’s speech.

2 Responses to “Franken resigns

  • eric z says:

    Strib online Dec. 9 has an update. Smith will not make any Sherman statement about her future and Dayton is weighing his options. Lori Swanson would be a great replacement, as would Keith Ellison. Swanson has the advantage of having already whomped Republicans in statewide contests.

    Gary, do you see any Repubs as best? And do you see any likelihood of Pawlenty leaving his extravagantly compensated present position to seek Guv/Senator this cycle? My guess is he stays with the big paycheck.

  • Gary Gross says:

    I don’t see TPaw running for office again. Greg Peppin and Brian McDaniel are trying to push a TPaw for Governor story but there’s simply no appetite amongst the activists for that. TPaw for Senate might be a different calculation.

    As for Republicans, I’d love to see Stewart Mills run. He’d play well in the suburbs plus he’d crush the DFL candidate in rural Minnesota and on the Iron Range. The miners have all-but-officially written off statewide DFL candidates because they’re anti-mining. It’s worth remembering that Trump crushed Hillary by 16 points on the Range last year.

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