December 7, 2005

Franken's iPod.

Al Franken was in town last night, and The Daily Cardinal -- a UW student newspaper -- got a chance to do an interview. Here's one thing:
DC: You’ve been a known Deadhead and even had Phil Lesh on your show. What kind of music have you been listening to lately?

AF: Well on my iPod, I have some Grateful Dead, of course, and some Guster that my son gave to me. REM and Bruce Springsteen. You know, the classics.
MORE: The Capital Times uses the occasion to opine on Franken's possible run for the Senate:
Franken is not sure whether he will make the race. But if he does, he will be a far more serious contender than his right-wing critics would have Americans believe. Sure, he comes from the world of show business. But, by comparison, say, with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franken has a significantly more impressive track record as a political activist and a commentator on national and international affairs.

In many senses, Franken reminds us of an entertainer-turned-politician we did not agree with but whom we had to respect: former President Ronald Reagan. Reagan got deeply involved in conservative politics years before he entered the 1966 California gubernatorial race. Reagan was ridiculed by liberals and many in the media but he beat them every time because he actually understood politics and was firm in his beliefs.

If Franken seeks the Senate seat from Minnesota, he will be ridiculed by conservatives and many in the media but he too understands politics and is firm in his beliefs. And, we suspect, Franken would hand Coleman the defeat he should have gotten from Paul Wellstone.
Hmmm.... Do show biz types make better true believers?


Ron said...

Do show biz types make better true believers? is about acting, and once you can fake sincerity, you've got it down cold.

There's a great shot of Reagan as a Lone Gunman on a roof with a rifle near the end of his last film "The Killers." This is not the young Reagan of "King's Row," but the one who's only two years away from being governor of California, and looking not much different than President Reagan! Unsettling!

Luckily for Franken's political chances, he doesn't look that much like Stuart Smalley anymore...

erp said...

Franken would hand Coleman a defeat? I thought even in Minnesota, it was the voters who handed out defeats and victories. Franken's ego is in reverse proportion to to his abilities.

Tom said...

If Al wants to run for political office, he probably shouldn't do it in Minnesota. We've already elected one unqualified celebrity to a significant political position, and as you'll recall, that didn't work out too well. Once bitten, as they say....

Jacques Cuze said...

Do show biz types make better true believers?

And what do you mean by true believer? If you are trying to say that Franken has an irrational belief in liberalism when given overwhelming evidence to the contrary, than you are just full of it. It's a cheap shot and you should know that.

It shows that you haven't read his books, or his show. It shows you know very little about the man, and if you had read his books and listened to his show you would know so much about his background that you would know he is not a true-believer in any derogatory sense of the term.

The man is a Harvard Grad, and he has been a fellow at the Kennedy School. He had a team of fourteen (I think) researchers help him with his books. His show has a regular group of highly respected journalists and pundits on it that take all sorts of diverse opinions, including conservative, including originalist, including bush-licking.

The man is intelligent, principled and knowledgeable, and funny. And he has been to Afghanistan and Iraq on at least four USO tours.

We should all accomplish 1/10th of what Al has, and we should all aim so high.

Shame on you.

Ann Althouse said...

Quxxo: Calm down. I'm referring to Reagan too here. My point is that these actor-types seem to be good at adopting a pervasive ideology and sticking to it.

Jacques Cuze said...

Well there you go again. I don't even think you are being fair to Reagan.

He was a Democrat before he became a Republican (and as he would proudly tell you, he was the head of a labor union before destroying PATCO).

I think you are riffing off of a popular, conservative, sentiment that actors should act and not make political arguments.

And that is an anti-American, anti-Enlightenment argument when you come right down to it.

Actors should act. Engineers should engineer. Only lawyers are capable of making laws or commenting on court cases or commenting on politics.


Bruce Hayden said...

The PowerLine guys seem to believe that he would be a viable candidate.

But that was before the Air America funding problems. As all probably know by now, they accepted money ($875,000) illegally loaned from a charity (the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club), and stiffed a minority owned broadcaster (Multicultural Radio Broadcasting Inc.) But then, Air America reorganized, leaving the legal entity that had the liabilities (Radio Free America, Inc.) an empty shell, but with pretty much the same people in charge of a second company (Piquant, LLC) with all the assets, including the name "Air America". (see Mutlicultural Broadcasting complaint).

Then Franken apparently acknowledged that this all was going on when he signed a settlement agreement with Evan Cohen and Rex Sorensen. His excuse is that he signed whatever his attorneys put in front of him. But still, his signature is on the papers.

Joe Baby said...

I don't think Franken is a total boob like Springer, but he's not close to Reagan.

I give great credit to entertainers who actually do run, as opposed to all the lame-o's who threaten.

Still, Franken is inherently unserious and nasty. I know he marshals legions of grad students to write his books, but this isn't exactly experience for office.

Seems anyone who wants to leap straight into the Senate need have some other skills, such as grace and a sense of humor.

brylin said...

Al Franken? How did Jerry Springer do in Ohio!

jvgordon said...

Why do people erroneously think Governor Schwarzenegger was a political neophyte before he became Governor of California? Prior to running for Governor, he was the head of the first President Bush's Presidential Council on Physical Fitness, which, while not a policy position, is a position requiring extensive campaigning. More importantly, Schwarzenegger ran a successful statewide initiative campaign in the 90's. Running a statewide initiative campaign in California is nearly equivalent to running for statewide office.

Ann Althouse said...

I stand by my observation that actors may have a special talent for perceiving the whole character and emboding it. I think others drawn into politics may be entering it with a different set of talents. This isn't meant to disrespect any particular mode of being political, so I continue to think Quxxo's criticism is obtuse.

gs said...

"Do show biz types make better true believers?"

They seem to make good ones, and I don't understand why. I'd expect actors to be effective campaigners (cf. Ron's comment about faking sincerity), but the left-of-mainstream political beliefs of the Hollywood community appear genuine and strongly held. Idealism, from members of a profession whose typical members historically have been regarded as disreputable.

'Sincere actor' is not precisely an oxymoron, but what's going on here?

chuck b. said...

How would Al Franken get any work done with so many people he demonstrably abhors?

On the other hand, the US Senate makes a good home for blowhards. He might fit in just fine.