U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who worked on “Saturday Night Live” and wrote biting satire before going into politics, has generally tamped down his comedic chops as a sitting lawmaker.
But he opened up a bit this weekend during an interview with CBS correspondent Rita Braver.
The story notes that he’s “established himself as a straight-talking, hard-working lawmaker who actually shows up for committee hearings, and is willing to reach across the aisle to get things done.”
But then he tells the story:
“The first day I got here, Jim DeMint, the senator from South Carolina — who’s now head of the Heritage Foundation, very, very, very conservative — said to me, ‘How are things on the Extreme Left?’ And I said, ‘They’re great! How are things on the Nutcase Right?’ And he laughed. And we were friends ever since!”
Franken said he thinks of himself as a workhorse in the Senate, not a show horse.
But Braver said: “There’s just a wide perception among people that Congress is a place of all talk and not much action. Isn’t that somewhat frustrating for you?”
The exchange continued:
“To me, part of the problem is that the stuff that is getting done very often is just not covered, because it’s not sexy,” Franken replied.
“But look how long it took to get the new Attorney General in place.”
“Oh, that doesn’t mean there isn’t dysfunction!”
“But it’s exemplary of what happens here.”
“It is exemplary of what happens here. So it’s both: It’s both, ‘We actually get things done’ and ‘We don’t get things done.’ How’s that?” he laughed.
“Don’t you ever just feel like sitting down and ripping out a satire of what goes on in the committees, or what goes on on the Senate floor?”
“No … but that’s such a good idea! Hmmm. That’s what I’m going to do when I retire!”