December 13, 2016

"Franken fell asleep at 2 a.m. on the night of the election and woke up with a migraine."

"For days, it was hard to think about anything besides Trump in the White House. 'There was a week or so when sleeping literally was a great thing,' Franken said. 'You go through a process of internalizing it.' In addition to the political shock, there was a broader despair over the cultural disconnect that the election laid bare. I kept thinking of an Onion headline that ran a few weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks: 'A Shattered Nation Longs to Care About Stupid [Expletive] Again.' How long does it take a culture to forge a new sensibility, whether comedic or political? Franken seemed to be struggling with this a bit. There was similar confusion in the various liberal bubbles of Washington, New York and Hollywood, whose inhabitants were the supposed keepers of the American zeitgeist — the geniuses who so spectacularly dismissed the zeitgeist that elected Donald Trump."

From the NYT article "Al Franken Faces Donald Trump and the Next Four Years/The two-term Democratic senator, who once made a living satirizing politicians, envisions an unfunny future," by Mark Leibovich. I picked that quote out of the center of the long article, but you should know that the article begins with Al Franken's observation that Trump never laughs.

I was looking to see what else Mark Leibovich has written. He inserted himself into that Al Franken article — I kept thinking of an Onion headline — right into the paragraph about Franken's headache. That seemed unusually egoistic for a NYT writer.

I looked back at my own Mark Leibovich tag and found 2 things:

1. In September 2008, I was amused by the images in a Mark Leibovich article about Joe Biden campaigning. According to Leibovich, Biden — "a distinctive blend of pit bull and odd duck whose weak filters make him capable of blurting out pretty much anything" — had been "absolutely butchering Senator John McCain across the Rust Belt this week." And: "Mr. Biden’s role is red-meat serious: to pulverize Mr. McCain..." Butchering! Red meat!

2. In February 2010, after Mark Leibovich wrote respectfully about Sarah Palin, I wrote a post titled "Sarah Palin was a blithering idiot until she became a devious genius."

Speaking of Palin (and speaking of meat), I'm seeing a Breitbart article about a Leibovich piece from July 2015, "Re-Re-Re-Reintroducing Hillary Clinton/The meticulously managed rollout of a candidate whom voters think they know already." The article begins with Leibovich describing seeing a moose by the side of the road as he was driving up to see Clinton at her hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. According to Breitbart, "The Clinton campaign vetoed nearly the entire interview," including part of the moose story where Clinton speaks of having eaten moose stew and says: "So that’s why I always got a big kick out of Sarah Palin with all of her, 'We’re cooking up some moose stew here.'"
Leibovich opens his article using his sighting of a moose as a “point of connection” with Hillary. As instructed he conceals Clinton’s mention of Palin and all other portions of the interview the campaign vetoed. Despite allowing the Clinton campaign the ability to veto any interview content, in his article, Leibovich brags that even after the campaign sent him an email in the leadup to his story instructing him that the campaign office was “OTR” or off-the-record, he responded by writing that he “wasn’t abiding by any ‘office is off the record provisions.'” After dishing out the marching orders, Palmieri finishes by telling Leibovich, “Pleasure doing business.”
Leibovich wrote about Hillary again on October 11, 2016, in a piece titled "I’m the Last Thing Standing Between You and the Apocalypse’/Inside the final weeks of Hillary Clinton’s cautious — and surprisingly risky — campaign." Excerpt:
Whenever I visited Clinton’s campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, the youthful energy and confidence of the staff was leavened by a detectably uneasy undercurrent. Either they are helping elect the first female president, assuring her place in history, or they will be the people who lost to Donald Trump...

... I asked Clinton if Nov. 8 scared her. “No, not really,” she said slowly. I clarified that I was talking about the prospect of her losing. She knew what I was talking about. “I’m not going to lose,” she said. She shot me a knowing grin.
And as long as we're looking at old Mark Leibovich articles, here's something he wrote about Trump in September 2015, "Donald Trump Is Not Going Anywhere/Where does his political adventure end?/'I have no idea. But I’m here now. And it’s beautiful.'"
... Trump has grown into a kind of one-man chaos theory at the center of a primary campaign in disarray. The solemn party leaders desperately want him to go away; the consultant and donor class feel irrelevant (because they largely are to Trump); even Fox News, with which he episodically feuds, seems rattled. At the first sign that, after an uninspired performance in the second debate, Trump’s poll numbers were stalled, pundits on the left and the right rushed to declare yet another ‘‘beginning of the end’’ for Trump. And still he leads in every poll, and it’s October, and it keeps going. Where does this end? I kept asking Trump this as we sat around his office and rode around in limousines and airplanes. ‘‘I have no idea,’’ he always said, sometimes modifying the noun with a big, unclassy profanity. ‘‘But I’m here now. And it’s beautiful.’’
No fucking idea. 

53 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

By the way, "migraine" is coastal-speak for "double-plus ungood feeling".

A real migraine is not the same thing.

Sebastian said...

"That seemed unusually egoistic for a NYT writer." Really?

Let me get this straight. Electing Trump is a sign of the apocalypse but electing Franken elevated the culture?

rhhardin said...

Al Franken on the 2004 election result, real audio interview with Imus, is amusing.

Provides a history of Franken defeats.

Quayle said...

Of course Al Franken is a serious statesman, not a silly TV personality like Trump.

Of all the myopathies we're seeing these days, the inability to see oneself in others is the most incomprehensible.

Meade said...

{sotto voce)This is a big fucking [idea].

Bob Boyd said...

I read Trump has never had a headache.

Maybe he's a carrier.

rehajm said...

By the way, "migraine" is coastal-speak for "double-plus ungood feeling".

I took it to mean the spectrum of maladies children invent so they can skip school.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

I dunno, it looked like Trump was laughing pretty hard on November 9th...

rehajm said...

The laugh thing is a recent Trump meme Franken lifted from The Nation/Atlantic. I guess it's supposed to dehumanize him or something.

Nonapod said...

I don't agree with his politics but I'll admit he was a pretty funny writer on SNL.

I seem to recall Al Franken's initial election being extremely controversial since he initially lost by a thin margin of like a couple hundred votes, and so there was a recount, after which he ended up ahead by a couple hundred votes. He doesn't seem to be one of the lefties demanding recounts though.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Quayle said...

Of all the myopathies we're seeing these days, the inability to see oneself in others is the most incomprehensible.

I couldn't see myself in Trump, but I could see myself in his wife or daughter.

rehajm said...

From the article: Unlike comedy, politics has traditionally drawn clear lines of what’s allowed, what requires contrition and what ends careers. But then Trump came along and pretty much vandalized every bright line and was rewarded with the American presidency.

It wasn't vandalism. Trump earned the required demolition permit after a lengthy legal process including the requisite public review period.

Curious George said...

"For days, it was hard to think about anything besides Trump in the White House. 'There was a week or so when sleeping literally was a great thing,' Franken said."

Bullshit.

EDH said...

Franken sounds like someone who is more fearful that Trump will succeed in office, rather than fail, even by the definition of most working class Democrats.

Comanche Voter said...

That Al Franken--what a kidder! (And by the way he got himself elected to the Senate the first time in a truly stolen election.)

My late father (who never used the Internet in his life and died in 2004--and lived 100 miles away from me) was an old school Yellow Dog Texas Democrat.

I'm not saying that Franken is stupid--but I still get regular e-mails from Franken addressed to "Roy"(the first name of my father) soliciting donations and voting support. I dunno how my Dad is going to crawl out of his grave in Northern San Diego County to come out and vote for Hillary--but Al has asked him to do that. What a mensch! Al still cares about my Dad!

Have a few more migraines--they're on me Al.

Ambrose said...

So now he knows how a lot of people felt when he became a Senator.

tcrosse said...

To be fair, Al Franken has done a pretty good job as Senator for the people of Minnesota. He has managed to keep his head down and tend to the work.
BTW In the 2008 election Obama carried Minnesota by about 11 percent, which means that roughly 200,000 people voted for Obama but not for Franken.

Michael said...

Franken has to pose Stevenson style showing his shoes in need of soles. Just so wrong on so many levels.

Seeing Red said...

MN went more red this election. Another reason for Franken not to laugh.

traditionalguy said...

Waking up in a new world and breathing in the Zeitgeist of the Deplorable Ascendancy probably felt like a Terminal Cancer diagnosis to the Bubble Dwellers of the Liberal Elites.

But it was a Happy Day for Trumpians. It felt like freedom and victory descending to long oppressed WASP Puritans and friends.



Michael K said...

If only Franken had not gone to sleep on election night, maybe he could have shown Hillary how to steal the election.

They are still trying but the chances are pretty poor.

Quaestor said...

I asked Clinton if Nov. 8 scared her. “No, not really,” she said slowly. I clarified that I was talking about the prospect of her losing. She knew what I was talking about. “I’m not going to lose,” she said. She shot me a knowing grin.

Where does this end? I kept asking Trump this as we sat around his office and rode around in limousines and airplanes. ‘‘I have no idea,’’ he always said, sometimes modifying the noun with a big, unclassy profanity. ‘‘But I’m here now. And it’s beautiful.’’

One of these two candidates had no grasp of the nature of reality.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

Trump clearly enjoys a good joke and is excellent at doing humor. You can google Trump laughing and find literally hundreds of of images, video and sound. Puzzling that with all the legitimate attacks to make against Trump they are opting for this clearly false narrative. More fake news.

wildswan said...

Seems like a reporter who suppresses his imagination only to have it return unrecognized. I mean he thinks: Interview Al Franken, well known buffoon, who became a Senator, on Donald Trump, well known buffoon, who became President. That is the idea. But Al Franken is trying to be a serious Senator out in flyover and since he is a Democrat, the reporter has to say that Franken is a good Senator Flyover. That might suggest that Trump might become good President Flyover. So drop the idea.

But the reporter goes on using the premise that Franken tells jokes but President-Elect Trump is a joke. Nice.

The entire article avoids all mention of any problems that exist in Minnesota except those suffered by Franken who has had to stop telling jokes and by Somalis who were fine until Trump attacked them. As such, it a perfect expression of bi-coasty prideful and childish ignorance.

It contains PaulineKale insights such as: "Since Nov. 8, Washington has felt like a fortressed village bracing for a guerrilla invasion." Guerrilla invasion? Trump is President-Elect, not Castro coming out of the Sierra Madres. Or this: "...the whole mantra that everyone must have, not just in this medium but in the world in general, is that no one knows anything.” Why does "no one know" anything? because Trump's election was not foreseen by anyone except Trump, campaign staff and Trump's sixty million supporters - in other words, no one an NYT reporter knows.

I guess the lesson is that one reason the bi-coasties are having such extreme difficulty adjusting is that they really do not know anyone who disagrees with them whom they respect. The best they can think of to do is to interview a Senator who has succeeded in duping flyover into thinking he's with them. How do we pretend we like you these dopes? Find out how Al Franken did it. Copy that.

It won't work.

Brando said...

"A real migraine is not the same thing."

As someone who lives with a migraine sufferer, I second that. It's a lot worse than "a bad headache."

And this constant "Trump trolls the Left, Left rises to the bait, news at 11" pattern is going to run out of material soon enough. Or will it? I just wonder what new material they'll come up with a year from now.

Trump: Morgan Freeman is totally overrated. Get a clue!

Left: Oh no he didn't! Outrage!

Ann Althouse: Morgan Freeman--is he really overrated though?

JAORE said...

Cacimbo2:
"You can google Trump laughing and find literally hundreds of of images, video and sound."

Yep, same with Hillary.

Now select a few, watch and listen. Then tell me who is really laughing in enjoyment and who is cackling like a poorly programmed android.

(Hmmmm, I may have given away the answer with the way I phrased the question. Oh well...)

It is remarkable the things they throw at Trump, or any political opponent of the left really, that is so easily disproved by a simple search on the internet.

Makes me wonder if the left includes large percentages of incurious parrots.

JAORE said...

I almost forgot:

"I'll admit he was a pretty funny writer on SNL."

I can't refute that because I don't know which skits came from his writing. But I can say that the skits that involved him on camera were, to me, largely awful. That was the period when I started watching SNL less and less.

rhhardin said...

Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington (can't tell them apart) tend to make movies that aren't awful, and so worth buying. You don't have to bail out early.

I don't know that a rating applies. They're action flicks.

What was one other kind recently ... Direct Contact ... with awful acting and an awful script but satisfying explosions. You do have to skip love scene chapters.

The worst kind has that but without explosions.

Greg Hlatky said...

If there's someone who knows about stealing elections, it's Franken.

Mike said...

Jump monkey jump
Trump is tweeting again
Music to your little ears
Jump monkey jump

Quaestor said...

Trump has grown into a kind of one-man chaos theory at the center of a primary campaign in disarray.

Very perceptive of Leibovich, though one must add that perceiving is not understanding, as events have made clear for all open minds.

It is a conceit of progressivism, borrowed liberally from Marx, that history is a science, and that the present can be manipulated to a predetermined and satisfactory end. We often heard the phrase "bending history" on the lips of the usual suspects, did we not? Hillary swallowed the Marxist model hook, line, and sinker — History is bending her way. She is infallible. Her Presidency is inevitable. We read this in the pages of every major newspaper for years, in the words of people who are paid millions to pontificate to the unwashed masses. It took a special kind of ignorance to predict the advent of Madame President, the kind of tabula rasa that has never been written on by the caprices of the REAL WORLD, the world lived in by people who must struggle against forces beyond their control. Trump is such a man, despite his wealth. He knows from bitter experience that there are no safe bets, that sure things sometimes run dead last. Trump appreciates better than any leader we've had in decades the chaotic nature of things, that the best we can do is hope for the best and expect the worst.

FullMoon said...

Hilarious when Al said it, not so much when Trump repeated it. OTOH, Trump should know better than to steal another guys material without giving him credit. OTOOH, at least Trump did not weasel out and blame Al for the original joke..

"Franken’s remarks also appeared in a 2000 Salon article. That story quotes Franken as saying “I have tremendous respect for McCain but I don’t buy the war hero thing. Anybody can be captured. I thought the idea was to capture them. As far as I’m concerned he sat out the war.”

Before that, Franken made the joke at a 1999 White House Photographers Dinner, CNN Politics reported."

Wilbur said...

The best way to keep one's seat in the U.S. Senate is to keep your name out of the newspapers or TV, visit your home state a lot and talk to people and make sure your staff deals with their problems with the Federal leviathan.

E.g., Bill Nelson of Florida. Damn near unbeatable Democrat, but have you ever heard of him?

Matthew Sablan said...

"And this constant "Trump trolls the Left, Left rises to the bait, news at 11" pattern is going to run out of material soon enough. Or will it?"

-- Hubris in politics is boundless.

I'm not a fan of the trolliness that is Milo, but he has been at it for, what, years, and still manages to make it work. Likewise, James O'Keefe still manages to record Democrats saying stupid things when, frankly, I would think at some point they'd stop falling for his obvious tricks. Or, if caught on film, they'd stop falling into the follow-up trap of saying: "He's got nothing else!"

AllenS said...

I read the St Paul and Minneapolis papers on line every day. Very, very seldom to you hear anything from, or about the two Democratic senators.

Will said...

Well, Hillary and "Brooklyn". You are indeed, the people who lost….to Trump!!!

Pleasure doing business…..

Bill Peschel said...

We have a similar democrat in Pennsylvania by the name of Casey. He's the son of a respected senator, and inherited the job because Casey.

He's rarely in the news, rarely does anything. So long as he doesn't bump into the furniture, he'll be re-elected.

Regarding the New York Times, the fact they didn't fire Leibovich when he admitted letting Hillary pick the quotes he used shows that they're not serious about draining their swamp.

It's one thing to get away with letting the campaign vet their quotes. That hews close to "I want to make sure I quoted them correctly."

But to have Podesta put on his green eyeshade and say, "Use this. Don't use this. For god's sake don't go near this!" (I'm thinking specifically about Hillary wondering why gay rights had advanced so much faster than women's rights) shows that Leibovich is a lapdog for the Democrats.

They might as well pay his salary for the work he's doing for them.

eddie willers said...

"I'll admit he was a pretty funny writer on SNL."

Amazing how unfunny he became after breaking up with Tom Davis.

Greg Hlatky said...

The best way to keep one's seat in the U.S. Senate is to keep your name out of the newspapers or TV, visit your home state a lot and talk to people and make sure your staff deals with their problems with the Federal leviathan.

Carl Hayden (D-AZ) was a senator from Arizona from 1927 to 1969. He almost never spoke in the Senate. He took care of constituents promptly and on a Bipartisan basis. When he began his career as a congressman in 1912, an old-timer told him to be a work horse, not a show horse.

tim in vermont said...

About how I felt when that car trunk full of ballots showed up and he won.

JAORE said...

"Jump monkey jump
Trump is tweeting again
Music to your little ears
Jump monkey jump"

The only question is who are the monkeys. Pick carefully.

Barry Dauphin said...

When I've heard Franken interviewed since becoming a senator, he sounds like a guy who just woke up or is taking a lot of Ambien. And he never seems to laugh. He is very serious.

AprilApple said...

After Al Franken Stole his seat thru voter fraud, we all know the feeling, Al.

Michael K said...

Hillary got a big hand in Detroit, with more votes than voters, but it still couldn't put her over the top there,

I blame poor graveyard management.

William said...

I had such high hopes for the Trump presidency. Mass exodus from Hollywood. Maybe some of the ladies on The View falling off their chairs and having full, frothing seizures. Maybe Andrea Mitchell trying to stab Kellyanne Conway in the eye with her pencil. But nothing except Al Franken with a migraine. Very disappointing.

Michael K said...

"But nothing except Al Franken with a migraine. Very disappointing."

It's early yet. The serious keening will begin after the 19th when all else has failed. Kubler Ross understands.

Big Mike said...

That seemed unusually egoistic for a NYT writer.

@Althouse, the Times, they are a changin'.

iowaan said...

"Al Franken ... envisions an unfunny future.

That's a safe bet, Al Franken was never funny.

Joe said...

Al Franken is just making shit up like he always did.

Big Mike said...

Okay, I broke down and read the article -- not all the way through of course, it's late and I have only so much tolerance for crap. I note two things: (1) what Al Franken finds funny is not necessarily what Donald Trump finds funny, and vice versa, and (2) I see that one of the things that Leibovich expected to keep Trump out of the White House was the outrage of the voters. Talk about blindness!!! What does the writer think was the engine that powered Trump into victory?

Fen said...

Yup. Best thing so far about the Trump presidency is the MSM and the Left (but I repeat myself) demonstrating that they are nowhere near as intelligent as they have been pretending.

Again I ask "why do they still have jobs?"

They got everything wrong. Their analysis was wrong, their punditry was wrong, their polling was wrong. Worse, they blinded their own party with false narratives. Its why so many Dems are still wandering the streets like zombies, shell-shocked that their fantasy bubble has burst.

If any of us failed this miserably at our jobs, we would be shown the door. And if I ran CNN or Wapo or the NYTs, I would fire everyone and start from scratch. You can get this level of incompetence for free over at HuffPo.

Big Mike said...

One final question. Do Al Franken and Mark Leibovich understand the role that they played in setting the stage for Al Trump?

mikee said...

Al Franken's Senate votes still count the same as Ted Cruz's. And that is funny.