Ill-timed Franken bus stop at U encounters nappers, the unaware — and those who already had voted

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman records an Al Franken encounter with U students.
MinnPost photo by Jay Weiner
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman records an Al Franken encounter with U students.

The first thing Al Franken had to do when he stepped off his big, blue campaign bus outside a Starbucks on the University of Minnesota campus at about 10:30 this morning was to dab off  “my lucky tie.”

He’d spilled coffee on it earlier in the day.

Next thing he had to do was move away from the Starbucks, which was jammed with people getting free cups of coffee for having voted.

“Brilliant,” said Franken of the Starbucks’ stop. “We’ve stopped at a place where everyone has already voted.”

Franken started walking down Washington Avenue, getting hugs and handshakes and posing for pictures.

“I voted for you, Al,” students would say.

“Thanks,” he’d respond.

When Franken strolled through a lounge at the Coffman Union, scores of students were napping.

“Can I get you a pillow?” Franken asked one.

“No, thank you,” the student replied.

Franken also stopped for a long chat with an international student from China.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“Al Franken,” he said.

She hadn’t heard of him, but she did ask him to pose for a picture.

“What’s your name?” she asked again.

“Watch the news tonight,” he said, smiling.

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