U.S. Sen. Al Franken launched his first statewide re-election ad on Tuesday, which promotes his efforts to help train workers for skilled jobs.
The 30-second ad, called "3.5 million jobs," references the "skills gap" in which companies struggle to find qualified employees. The spot features Elizabeth Abraham, owner of a manufacturing company in Blaine called Top Tool, who has had a tough time finding the right workers.
Abraham inspired Franken, the Star Tribune says, to create the Community College to Career Fund Act, which partners two-year colleges with businesses to train people for jobs in industries that include health care, advanced manufacturing, clean energy and information technology.
Since being elected, the comedian turned Senator has kept his humorous side in check, but has disputed claims that he only became serious when he was elected. Franken said in an interview with ABC Radio last week that he "was always a serious person" and that funny people are often serious and "vice versa."
But that doesn't stop him from making the occasional witty comment. Franken told ABC Radio that the comedian in him would struggle to mock his Senator self because "I've just been impeccable." He then added, with a chuckle, that he supposes he's made "some small mistakes."
There was no sign of humor in his latest ad, though. MinnPost notes that the Democratic incumbent's ad is straightforward and void of the humor and personality present in his Republican challenger's first ad.
The ad war in the Senate race was launched last month when businessman Mike McFadden began airing his first commercial. The ad uses a hockey metaphor to take a few slap shots at the incumbent on spending, higher taxes and Obamacare.
Franken's campaign is spending roughly $146,000 on the television ads, which will run through Monday, the Associated Press reports. The Star Tribune says McFadden spent less than $10,000 on his hockey-themed cable ad.