Though his talk of change and building a movement echoes Obama's, Franken's appeal is altogether different. He doesn't seek to unite Republicans and Democrats, as Obama does, but rather to draw sharp contrasts, as Dean did, in a style of chesty confrontation. I watched the speech with a young Navy officer and Iraq veteran named Tim Wellman Jr., who was wearing the military equivalent of a letterman's jacket, embroidered with his dates of service and where he'd deployed, with a couple of Franken stickers slapped on. Though it doesn't get nearly the attention his political activism does, Franken was participating in USO tours long before it was fashionable among Democrats, and has kept it up with trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, despite his opposition to the war (though he did not initially oppose it). I asked Wellman what drew him to Franken. "He brings a clear vision of right and wrong," he said. "He's been very strong about confronting Republicans on their own issues, like strength and war." Other Democrats in the audience said much the same thing.Personally, I'd vote for anyone who wrote Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, so I don't need a lot of convincing. But if you're curious about how the campaign is going, click the link.
TAKING AL FRANKEN SERIOUSLY....Josh Green writes in the Atlantic about Al Franken's run for the Senate in Minnesota: