Here comes the 'Al Franken 2020' narrative

Al Franken – 2020 presidential nominee?

Knowing how the internet works, this was pretty much inevitable – the recent Sen. Al Franken buzz has resulted in people wondering if he might want to run for president in 2020.

It started with this story in the National Journal Sunday (which is behind a paywall) titled "No Joke: Al Franken for President?"

Josh Kraushaar, the author of the National Journal story, tweeted this mini summary:

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza then spun that off into his own column: "Why Al Franken makes a weird amount of sense as a 2020 presidential candidate."

Together, their arguments are essentially that Franken – with his comedy background – is a political outsider, which seems to appeal to people right now.

But he's also built up a solid resume over the past eight years in the Senate, and has shown an ability to win over key demographics of voters (at least in Minnesota). Plus, he's a celebrity, which could be a huge asset for someone running against President Donald Trump.

What's really elevated Franken of late is his questioning of Trump's cabinet picks, which have generated hundreds of thousands of views on his Facebook page. It's also gotten the attention of the Republican Party of Minnesota, which last week asked supporters to call his office.

Franken's name hasn't been out there much before now, in terms of possibly ascending to the presidency.

MotherJones and The Hill were among those recently suggesting Franken's fellow senator, Amy Klobuchar – who has long been viewed as someone ripe to rise up the political ladder.

And in a USA Today poll in December, Franken didn't even rank.

Though there have been a few voices.

Politico Magazine writer Bill Scher wrote last year Franken should be the pick for Hillary Clinton's running mate. And Fox News contributor Dana Perino tweeted Franken's been positioning himself to run in 2020, and made it her New Year's prediction that he'd seek it out.

But it wasn't until the past few weeks or so that people have really taken notice. Someone's even created an AlFranken2020 Twitter account.

What isn't known is if Franken has any interest in being president of the United States. We've reached out to Franken's office for a comment, and will update this story if we hear back.

Update: A spokesperson for Franken's office pointed to a statement made in November as a response to similar chatter about 2020, saying the comment from then still stands.

“Sen. Franken is not going to run for President in 2020," it says. "He will, however, spend the next several years fighting on behalf of Minnesota families — working on issues like income inequality, education, college affordability, health care, equal rights, and on behalf of consumers and small businesses."

Next Up