Al Franken's moment in the spotlight turns him into a MN GOP target

The internet's become infatuated with Al Franken's pointed questions.
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Internet writers have pulled out all the dramatic action verbs they can think of while covering Sen. Al Franken over the past few weeks.

Franken "excoriates." He "blasts," and goes "on a rampage." He's "repeatedly drawn blood" from the president's cabinet nominees and makes them "squirm." He's been the "breakout star" of the political year, and he should "be your political role model. Seriously."

His social media team has been quick to share videos on Facebook of Franken questioning the nominees, garnering hundreds of thousands of views.

For a Democratic U.S. senator described as recently as 2014 as "dull" and workmanlike, with few big legislative waves to ride following his first term, Franken's recent pointedquestions have arguably turned into his first signature moment as a lawmaker.

And it's made him a target of the Minnesota GOP, apparently.

'Absolutely embarrassing!'

The state party sent an email to subscribers Thursday (viewable here) specifically addressing Franken. There's no mention of other lawmakers or policies or proposals in the message.

"Did you see Senator Franken this week? Absolutely embarrassing!" the email begins.

Franken "went on an embarrassing rant" while a committee considered attorney general nomintee Jeff Sessions, the email reads, and the senator's "petulant behavior and clueless comments in these hearings do not represent Minnesota or our values."

"The hysteria on the left needs to stop, and Senator Franken needs to stop inflaming it," the email continues.

It then encourages people to call Franken's office and "make your voice heard."

(Note: Everyone should feel OK doing so with any of their lawmakers, all the time – all U.S. Senators' office numbers are listed here, and all U.S. House representatives are here).

If Franken continues to keep making noise, don't be surprised to see more pitches like this.

Franken's standing in Minnesota

After winning his first election by 312 votes (a number he's probably sick of hearing, but too bad) over former Sen. Norm Coleman, Franken cruised to re-election in 2014 with more than 53 percent of the vote.

And his standing is pretty good as of late, especially within the Democratic party.

Public Policy Polling, in December 2016, asked Democratic primary voters if they had a favorable or unfavorable view of certain party faces. Of those, 44 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Franken, behind only Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Franken got 15 percent unfavorable, with the remaining 41 percent unsure.

And Morning Consult did a giant ranking to find the most and least popular U.S. senators, based on what their home-state constituents said. Franken came it at the ninth most popular, with 63 percent approving and 26 percent disapproving.

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