COLUMNIST: Democrats Should Run Al Franken For President In 2020

Democrats have no back bench so no matter who they run in 2020, they’re facing an uphill battle. But Al Franken? Really? The former SNL star is at the top of one writer’s list.

Josh Kraushaar writes at National Journal:

No Joke: Al Franken for President?

Franken isn’t a punch line in the Sen­ate any­more. He’s emerged as one of the Demo­crats’ most ag­gress­ive and ef­fect­ive ques­tion­ers of Pres­id­ent Trump’s Cab­in­et nom­in­ees. He’s gen­er­ated nu­mer­ous made-for-TV clips as one of the few Demo­crats will­ing to go full-bore against his party’s top tar­gets—Jeff Ses­sions, Tom Price, and Betsy De­Vos.

He’s fi­nally show­ing some per­son­al­ity in the Sen­ate, punc­tu­ated by his laugh-out-loud ex­change with En­ergy Sec­ret­ary-des­ig­nate Rick Perry. And he’ll be one of nine Demo­crats on the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee ques­tion­ing Trump’s Su­preme Court nom­in­ee, Neil Gor­such. This is Al Franken’s mo­ment in the spot­light, and if he chooses, he could par­lay his good for­tune in­to a bid for the pres­id­ency in 2020.

To be sure, Franken, 65, may not be the Demo­crats’ strongest can­did­ate in the gen­er­al elec­tion. His deeply lib­er­al polit­ics and long-stand­ing dis­missive­ness of Re­pub­lic­ans turn off many voters in the middle. But with Demo­crats look­ing for strident op­pos­i­tion to Trump in the early days of his pres­id­ency, they’re prob­ably not go­ing to be in a prag­mat­ic mood in the primar­ies.

So far, much of the lib­er­al ex­cite­ment has centered around Sens. Eliza­beth War­ren and Bernie Sanders, but they will be 71 and 79, re­spect­ively, dur­ing the gen­er­al elec­tion. Neither has shown any abil­ity to win sup­port out­side the most pro­gress­ive pre­cincts. Franken, at least, can point to a re­cord of elect­ab­il­ity with groups that Demo­crats will need to win over.

Al Franken doesn’t have much of a record. We’re not sure this would be the best choice for Democrats but if that’s who they want, let him run.

He won’t beat Trump. That’s for sure.

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