July 8th, 2009
05:58 PM ET

Politics a good second career for actors and comedians?


Left to Right: Alec Baldwin, Al Franken, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fred Thompson. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The actor Alec Baldwin is reportedly eyeing a run for Congress just as former comedian Al Franken becomes the newest show biz type to join lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Baldwin vowed to leave the country if George Bush was elected, but he's still here and now reportedly wants to become part of the Washington establishment.

We've gotten used to celebrities on Capitol Hill drawing attention to this cause or that cause from time to time. But it's also nothing new for these celebrities to step into the role of lawmaker.

Former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura became Governor of Minnesota in 1998. He declined to run for a second term.

Actor Fred Thompson, notably of Law & Order fame, served as a Senator from Tennessee before mounting a failed bid for the White House.

And speaking of Presidents, Ronald Reagan, of course, was an actor before jumping to politics, as was California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. And we can't forget singer and actor Sonny Bono.

The list goes on including stars from shows like the Love Boat, and the Dukes of Hazard who all have spent time in Washington on behalf of constituents who elected them to office.

Baldwin's credentials are questionable… but Al Franken is no slouch. He's Harvard educated and one of his first duties will be as a committee member for the confirmation hearing of Sonia Sotomayor next week.

Why it occurs to actors who spend their time pretending to be someone else that they are the answer to our nation's problems is a mystery. On second thought, how much worse can they be than the ones that are groomed for life inside the Beltway?

Here’s my question to you: Is politics a good second career choice for actors and comedians?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Al Franken • Congress • Government • Minnesota
April 14th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

5 months after election, still no winner in Minnesota

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Minnesota has become a joke - unless you live there and would like your voice represented in the United States Senate. 161 days after the election and they're still trying to figure out who won the senate race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken.

Franken (L) has urged Coleman (R) to let him "get to work as soon as possible."

A three-judge panel has now ruled against Coleman, saying that "Franken is entitled to receive the certificate of election" after defeating Coleman by 312 votes. But it's unlikely that the Minnesota secretary of state will issue that certificate until all legal challenges are exhausted.

I'm exhausted watching this... looks like a Three Stooges movie. Coleman has 10 days to appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court; and if he loses at the state level, there's always the federal level.

Coleman's lawyer says they'll appeal to the State Supreme Court because the lower court's order "wrongly disenfranchised" thousands of voters. I wonder if they'd be appealing if Coleman had 312 more votes.

Franken says he's confident he'll eventually be certified. He's calling on Coleman not to appeal and to "let me get to work as soon as possible." He added it's time for Minnesota to have 2 senators like every other state.

Minnesota is starting to look like a third world country - the land of 10,000 lakes and a dysfunctional democracy. We send people to monitor elections in foreign countries. Maybe next time we should send some to Minneapolis.

Here’s my question to you: What's wrong with Minnesota if 5 1/2 months after the election they still don't know who the winner is?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Al Franken • Minnesota • Norm Coleman
January 7th, 2009
06:02 PM ET

Minn. Senator: Why is it Taking So Long?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Call it the Minnesota Follies. The land of 10,000 lakes and Jesse Ventura is now threatening to give us a senator from Saturday Night Live. What's wrong up there? Two months after the election and they're still trying to figure out who won.

How tough can this be? It's not like counting all the votes in China.

The contest between incumbent Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken is starting to resemble the telethon for Jerry's kids.

On Monday the state canvassing board certified the recount and declared Franken the winner. But Coleman won't go away.

He's filing a lawsuit to challenge the recount of the recount. The move could drag this thing out until spring. His lawyers said the process is just beginning. That's what lawyers do. The longer they can drag things out, the more money they make.

The rest of the country managed to elect their lawmakers without a problem back in November. Georgia had a runoff, but that's long since over. It's now January and the 111th Congress has convened.

When it comes to elections, Minnesota is starting to make Florida look efficient.

Here’s my question to you: Why is it taking Minnesota so long to elect a senator?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Al Franken • Minnesota • Norm Coleman