The Alibi Water Cooler

Just a little discussion we had this afternoon ...

Following is the text of an e-mail conversation that occurred this afternoon between Food Editor Gwyneth Doland, Editor Michael Henningsen and Arts & Lit Editor Steven Robert Allen regarding the announcement earlier today of Al Franken's possible candidacy for Minnesota Senator in 2008. Enjoy a little Alibi interoffice bickering!

Gwyneth Doland posts:

WASHINGTON - Just one day after U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton decided not to run for a second term, comedian Al Franken may be throwing his hat into the ring.

Last year, Franken said he wanted to run for the Senate in 2008. But last night he told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that he is now considering his candidacy for next year.

Franken, a Minnesota native, plans to make an announcement live on his national radio show in Washington D.C. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS will be in the studio with Franken for that announcement.

The announcement is expected to come near the end of the broadcast, which will be around 1:45 p.m.

Meanwhile, former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams, who lost his seat to Dayton in 2000, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that he is running for the open seat. He said Social Security, the deficit, the budget, Medicare and Medicaid are what prompted him to enter the race.

Other Republicans who may consider a run include U.S. Reps. Mark Kennedy and Gil Gutknecht, and Minn. Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer.

On the DFL side, activist Buck Humphrey said he's not ruling out a bid for the U.S. Senate.

The grandson of the late Vice President Hubert Humphrey and the son of former state Attorney General Skip Humphrey first said he wasn't interested in joining a growing list of candidates seeking the party nomination. But Buck Humphrey said later that he wouldn't rule outrunning for the open Senate seat.

Other potential DFL candidates include Minneapolis lawyer Mike Ciresi, Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson of Willmar, state Senator Steve Kelley of Hopkins, former Congressman Bill Luther, Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar, and former public development official Rebecca Yanisch.

State House Minority Leader Matt Entenza was considered to be a potential Senate candidate by many. However, he said Wednesday that he's not interested. During a visit to Worthington, Entenza said his interests are entirely in Minnesota.

Michael Henningsen wrote:

Great. Just what the Democrats need. A nerdy fucking comedian making a spectacle of himself as an actual candidate. It's like having the village idiot taking a stab at the throne just for shits and giggles. Get ready for Jeb Bush in 2008.

Gwyneth Doland wrote:

Actually, I think Al Franken is a pretty good guy. I was very, Very impressed by Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. The great thing about Al Franken is that he is absolutely committed to the truth. The genius of his book and his radio show is that he really does take people to task for what that homeless guy on the corner calls "nefarious mendacity". I like that about him.

Michael Henningsen wrote:

I didn't say he wasn't a great guy, but hardly anyone takes him seriously, at least as a politician. At best, he simply viewed as the quintessential whiny-ass liberal malcontent Bush-hater whose agenda amounts to generalizing and vilifying Republicans as whacko warmongers (granted, many of them appear to be just that). That's all fine with me, but it's not likely to have any positive effect on what's left of the weak-ass Democratic Party any more than Michael Moore, Jello Biafra or Noam Chomsky running for office would. The Dems need an established, respected politician to step up to the plate. Or they need John McCain to switch parties and start raising hell. Short of that or some kind of mind-blowing scandal in the White House, America is doomed to remain a Republican Quasi-theocracy for many years to come, or for at least as long as they can keep us at war in the Middle East. And remember the Bushies have four more years to find Bin Laden and haul him out just before the 2008 election.

Steven Robert Allen wrote:

In my opinion Al Franken's talk radio show is boooooring. It's one of the worst things on Air America.

Gwyneth Doland wrote:

I have to disagree. I think talk radio in general is boring. When it's really, really good it's called NPR. When it's so bad it gives me road rage it's Rush Limbaugh. Somewhere in the middle is Air America.

Steve Allen wrote:

Anyway, NPR isn't talk radio. The only show I listen to regularly on Air America is the morning show, “The Morning Sedition,” and it's astronomically better. Funnier, sharper, faster. Al Franken talks way too slow to be a good talk radio personality. And his writers are terrible. And he might be the only interviewer on earth who's more incompetent than Charlie Rose. Plus, I hate his Grateful Dead theme music. Yuck. Just my two cents.

Gwyneth Doland wrote:

In my opinion, Al Franken's show is the best show I've heard on Air America. He's intelligent, informed, and lures high-profile guests. He does a better job than the guy who sounds like Rush Limbaugh. And Randi Rhoads is a blabbering ditz who does the liberal cause a disservice. Her vapid shrieking is almost as bad as Rush.

Steve Allen wrote:

Well, I partially agree with you: Randy Rhodes is the one thing on Air America that I've heard that's worse than the "Al Franken Show."