U.S. Sen. Al Franken supports Hillary Clinton for president and will say so on TV later today.
NBC’s “First Read” previews the statement that Franken made during the taping of “The Cycle,” which will air at 2 p.m. today on MSNBC. It went like this:
Franken: “I think that Hillary would make a great president. I think, I certainly feel I haven’t announced that I’m supporting her, but does this count? I guess, maybe this counts… I think that I’m ready for Hillary. I mean, I think that we’ve not had someone this experienced, this tough, and she’s very, very impressive. People have asked me about Elizabeth Warren. She is great but she’s not running. She says she’s not running. So I don’t — I think Hillary would be great.”
As I mentioned Monday, Sen. Warren’s “I am not running for president” statement is apparently designed not to be totally dispositive, but Franken seems to think it is grounds enough to back-handedly declare himself “ready for Hillary.” As I also mentioned, there are elements of the leftier regions of the party that would like to see Clinton challenged from the left.
But I also noticed last week that Howard Dean had published an op-ed in Politico that constituted a full-throated endorsement of Clinton. That seems worth mentioning in this context because Dean, at the peak of his sudden and ill-fated but fairly amazing rise to front-runnership for the Dem presidential nomination in 2004, embodied the kind of no-apologies liberalism that Warren does now.
Franken is also viewed as a member of what his old friend Paul Wellstone used to call “the democratic wing of the Democratic Party.”