aug 5

Al Franken

Al Franken drawing a map of the United States during a fundraiser. I'll say it: I love this guy. And ya know what? The national coverage of the Franken campaign has been surprisingly sparse (here's that strange Observer angle). But it's a fascinating thing to watch, even from afar. Franken is losing big in the polls despite this being a) the most liberal state in the union, b) the worst year for Republicans since '74, c) such an unliked Republican foe in Norm Coleman, and d) Franken being such a weird prominent figure in a state that likes weird prominent figures (Jesse Venture, Paul Wellstone, Hubert Humphrey, etc.). One has to believe it will turn around if Franken can shed his elitist image, but I'm honestly not sure if being able to draw a map of the United States from memory helps or hurts! Update: MeFi picks it up. Update: Video.


The last Rasmussen poll, 7/22, had it 49-46 Franken (though everyone else show's Coleman leading). Keep hope alive!

posted by Jake at 1:14 AM on August 5, 2008

Neat trick, but the bad (possibly fake) tan can't help. Feels a tad too Hollywood.

posted by Jackson West at 2:31 AM on August 5, 2008

OMG. Franken did that same draw-the-USA trick on TV during the 1988 Democratic convention. I, being a dorky 12-year-old, immediately decided to learn to do the same thing. That trick drove away girls for several awkward teen years thereafter.

posted by Josh at 9:27 AM on August 5, 2008

Really? Huh.

posted by Rex at 9:45 AM on August 5, 2008

Totally. Google tells me I'm not crazy (although he remembers it being on SNL, which I'm pretty sure I wasn't staying up to watch back then -- I'm betting CNN). A formative moment for a generation of nerds.

posted by Josh at 10:03 AM on August 5, 2008

He's done it a lot. On SNL and otherwise.

posted by björnkram at 12:27 PM on August 5, 2008

C'mon Rex: this has "I learned this trick in grade school" written all over it. To this day I can still tell you how many 1968 Polish zlotys you can get for a 1968 U.S. dollar, but I have no clue what gold is currently selling for, or how many Euros you get for a buck.

posted by Mark Gisleson at 12:46 PM on August 5, 2008

Who cares if he's done it a lot? It's still awesome. The amazing thing is that he goes state-by-state, rather than outlining and in-filling.

posted by chuckt at 6:23 PM on August 5, 2008

minnesota the most liberal state in the union? Exclude 1984 and I'm not sure you have much of case for the top 10 on that one.

posted by Bubba at 2:15 AM on August 6, 2008

It's been a long time since the minnesota miracle and I don't know if you can call us the most liberal state, although the liberals we do elect seem to be more extreme.

posted by bigness at 5:49 PM on August 6, 2008

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