First-term Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has worked hard to erase any memories that he once made a fine living as a writer and comedian on Saturday Night Live.
Nose to the grindstone, he’s consistently tried to shed that image. The SNL fame, however, has made him a huge draw at colleagues’ fundraisers — really one of a very few members of the Senate who can draw a crowd outside their home states.
Even at those events — and he does many, many of them — he eschews comedy and focuses on policy and politics.
But every once in a while. . .
The stage Tuesday night was one of those big “Thank You” receptions winners are holding everywhere on the Hill these days for their contributors and supporters.
Franken was there for Sen.-elect Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) at the home of lobbyist and former Democratic National Committee member Patrick Murphy, who conveniently lives steps from the Senate office buildings.
Franken stood at the center of the living room to address the capacity crowd — many ended up standing outside.
“I came over tonight ,” he explained, to talk to the new senator about Senate procedure and “the finer points of filibuster reform,” which the Democrats are pushing to undercut the GOP’s ability to block Democratic legislative initiatives and nominees.
Franken told the crowd he had an idea about “a new procedural maneuver” that might do the trick. He even had a name for it, he added. “We could call it the ‘Heinrich maneuver.’”
Yes, whenever he wants, Franken can still bring down the house.