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Will this be the Al Franken decade after all?

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Franken_l

Franken_lHe’s good enough, he’s smart enough, and doggone it, if the people of the great state of Minnesota like him more than his opponents, he’ll become their senator.

That’s right, folks, the erstwhile Stuart Smalley has moved from saving his family, writing books like Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, and hosting Air America’s flagship radio show to run for office. (Check out his announcement video here.) But this time the comedian doesn’t want you to laugh — he wants you to take him and his candidacy seriously. And I think we should (whether or not we support his views). After all, look at all the other entertainers who’ve gained public office: Jesse Ventura, The Dukes of Hazzard‘s Ben Jones, The Love Boat‘s Fred Grandy, Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, um, Ronald Reagan. There is precedent. (Though, hey, Congressman Cooter was pretty funny.)

But this does still raise some questions — beyond who your favorite entertainer-turned-politician is and what other ex-SNLers you’d want to run for office. Can he actually accomplish his goals for changing the country better as a senator (when he would represent only Minnesotans) than as a comedian, author, and talk show host (when he represents everybody)? It’s worth pondering, as is the more elemental question: can he win?

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