Rand Paul's Strange Alliance With Al Franken

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 4 2011 3:31 PM

Rand Paul's Strange Alliance With Al Franken

On first read, this story about Rand Paul taking on Al Franken as a mentor seems like odd micro-news. On second read, it still seems like micro-news. But on a third read!

While Franken and Paul may not have much political common ground, they have struck up one of the more unlikely bonds of the 112th Congress.

Franken’s spokesman Ed Shelleby said Franken talked with Paul about things that he found helpful as a new senator, when the Minnesota Democrat was thrown into the Senate mid-year following his recount court battle. Paul and Franken also "continued their conversation about areas they might work on together."


This is odd because Paul has mostly patched up relations with Mitch McConnell -- he defeated McConnell's not-so-secret choice for the Senate seat last year -- but Franken has irritated McConnell personally. Last summer, McConnell dressed down Franken after the senator appeared to be mocking the leader from the president's chair. Paul's media strategy is nothing like Franken's. Paul appears frequently on CNN and on national news shows (that awkward 2010 interview on MSNBC aside). Franken avoids most national media, and in Congress he talks to Minnesota reporters and a few other select sources. (He once ended a conversation with a Star Trib reporter because me and a Daily Caller reporter were approaching to talk, and could clearly hear what he was saying.) Franken's followed the Hillary Clinton-esque head down/avoid spotlight strategy, as Marco Rubio has.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?


Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 20 2014 1:50 PM Why We Shouldn’t be Too Sure About the Supposed Deal to Return the Abducted Nigerian Schoolgirls
Oct. 20 2014 12:37 PM The Fed Will Probably Stop Injecting Huge Sums of Money Into the Economy This Month
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 20 2014 1:43 PM Chouara: A Striking 11th-Century Tannery in Morocco
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 1:26 PM This $248 Denim Jumpsuit Is the Latest Example of a Horrible Fashion Tradition
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 1:51 PM Will Amazon Lead Us to the Golden Age of Books? A Future Tense Event.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 10:23 AM Where I Was Wrong About the Royals I underestimated the value of building a team that’s just barely better than mediocre.