Al Franken For Vice President

A case for why he should be on top of Hillary’s list

Image Via CC (credit: AFL-CIO)

Now that Hillary Clinton has secured the necessary combination of delegates to secure her party’s presidential nomination, much of the attention will quickly turn to who she should select as her running mate.

There are plenty of great options available but the best one might just be the two-term U.S. Senator from Minnesota, former Saturday Night Live writer and best-selling author. First, all due credit to Bill Scher, who first floated this idea last month in a Politico column.

First, Clinton needs a few things from her VP pick:

  • A strong surrogate who can bring the fight to Trump and his eventual running mate.
  • Someone that is effective but won’t overshadow her own presence on the trail.
  • Someone who could potentially tip a state and its electoral votes into her column.

His pick could also bring a few other potential bonus opportunities to the table, including helping to appoint the first Muslim U.S. Senator in American history.

1. Many of you might be too young to remember, but Franken was way out ahead of this whole notion of bringing the fight to Republicans. His 1996 best-seller “Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot” is basically a blueprint for bringing someone like Trump down to size: Rather than pivoting from a position of weakness, highlight the frankly silly nature of your opponent with intelligence and humor. This is the same approach President Obama took when he utterly destroyed Trump during the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner. Those jokes were so effective they reportedly were the spark that ignited Trump’s rage to seek the presidency in the first place.

2. Franken seems totally comfortable as a potential supporting member of Clinton’s cast. He did the same thing on SNL - putting together great jokes for the show’s stars, and making his own impact in memorable sketches without stealing the cast’s thunder. He’s played a similar role in the Senate, bringing attention to serious issues without being a bore. This is important to highlight for those who want to see someone like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren get the pick. Sanders has incredible enthusiasm from his base, but that’s so largely framed around his own agenda and personality, it’s hard to see him really being an effective advocate for the person he and his supporters so passionately rallied against. Besides, who knows if he’d even want the job? And after Clinton’s dominating performance in California and other states near the end of hte primary campaign, the notion that she somehow needs Sanders to win is somewhat diminished. As for Elizabeth Warren? She’d be great but she comes from a state with a Republican governor who would certainly appoint a Republican to the Senate in her absence. There’s a possible route to avoid this outcome but there’s still the argument that Warren is best equipped in her role as a senator and someone who can act more freely rather than within the constraints as Hillary’s virtual cheerleader.

3. Minnesota is a swing state that leans Democratic. Having Franken as the Democrat’s nominee would almost certainly help tilt the state to Clinton and negate some of Trump’s strengths with independent and working class voters that have rallied around his anti-establishment candidacy. Despite having lived in New York for several years before his first Senate run, Franken is distinctly Middle America - he knows how to talk the talk without being condescending or pandering. Vermont and Massachusetts are already going to Clinton, further reducing the need for Sanders or Warren to step up to the VP plate.

Wildcard: Keith Ellison. If Franken gets the VP pick, Gov. Mark Dayton will have a few options to replace him. One newsworthy and historic option would be promoting Rep. Keith Ellison to the distinguished body, making him the Senate’s only Muslim senator. That selection would certainly serve as a strong contrast to Trump’s perceived anti-Muslim stance and would give a Clinton/Franken ticket another strong, positive angle to run on.

Tony Webster

Clinton has plenty of other good choices - with a number of Washington, DC insiders looking to Labor Secretary Tom Perez (he’s funny, reliably progressive and, yes, Hispanic). But if she really wants to make a splash, she should really consider Franken - he’s good enough, he’s smart enough, and doggone it … you get it.

Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

Keep Reading Show less
Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

This election cycle, six women threw their hat in the ring for president, but is their gender holding them back? Would Americans feel comfortable with a woman leading the free world? Based on the last election, the answer is a swift no. And a new study backs this up. The study found that only 49% of American men would feel very comfortable with a woman serving as the head of the government. By comparison, 59% of women said they would feel comfortable with a woman in charge.

The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which measures attitude towards women leaders, evaluated the attitudes of those living in the G7 countries as well as Brazil, China, India, and Russia. 22,000 adults in those 11 countries were surveyed on their attitudes about female leadership in 22 different sectors, including government, fashion, technology, media, banking and finance, education, and childcare.

Only two countries, Canada and the U.K., had a majority of respondents say they would be more comfortable with a female head of state. Germany (which currently has a female Chancellor), Japan, and Russia were the countries least comfortable with a female head of state.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

Keep Reading Show less
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.