Al Franken makes his move

The Air America host once said that if he ever decided to run for the Senate he'd move himself and his radio show to Minnesota first. He's moving.

Published April 28, 2005 11:50AM (EDT)

When War Room last checked in on Al Franken, he was the guy who wouldn't be running for the U.S. Senate in 2006 but would be thinking about a race in 2008. When Franken announced in February that he wouldn't run for the seat being vacated by Minnesota Democrat Mark Dayton, he was pretty clear that he was holding open the possibility of running against Norm Coleman in 2008. Noting that he grew up in Minnesota but doesn't live there now, Franken said: "If I go in 2008, you're going to see me moving back there, and you're going to see me moving the show back there."

If those are the tea leaves to watch, it's sure looking like Franken is going to run. As David Paul Kuhn reports in Salon today, Franken is buying an apartment in Minneapolis and moving his Air America radio show to the Twin Cities. Franken is still a little cagey about his ambitions, but only a little. "I can tell you honestly, I don't know if I'm going to run," he says. "But I'm doing the stuff I need to do, in order to do it."

Democrats inside and outside Minnesota are excited by the idea; Joe Trippi says a Franken campaign would be a lot like Howard Dean's because he's "really somebody" who could get people involved -- and contributing money -- from all over the country. But the last entertainer to make a political splash in the Land of 10,000 Lakes doesn't seem so impressed. "People love to compare themselves to what I did," Jesse Ventura tells Kuhn. They did it with Schwarzenegger in California. He's just another Republican. . . . Al Franken would be just another Democrat."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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