Chat With Satirist and Shadow Convention Participant Al Franken

Because of the combination of any drama being rung out of it, there are places where you can watch it, including PBS, as well, I guess. There's a real reason the networks don't give up their primetime to show it.

jonvinyl says: What impact will the debates have in this election?

Al Franken:

Sam Donaldson just walked over and was very flattering. I told Sam that I had a scoop for him — that I found the only African-American officeholder who had not been asked to speak! I thought that had been a real scoop. The guy's hacked off about it — he thought it was a real slap in the face.

The debates could be decisive! I think W is going to study his father's debate in 1992, and probably not look at his watch.


If you were running for president, what would be your agenda be for the country?

Al Franken:

I would never run for president, because I would be a very, very bad president, because I would be crushed by the pressure.

But if I was advising someone who wasn't going to be crushed by the pressure, I would talk about some of the things that are being talked about, like education. But I think the key is to spend more money on what Colin Powell talked about last night — schools where asbestos is falling down, where classes are being held in bathrooms.

I was impressed with what was discussed at the Shadow Conventions. I think we are incarcerating too many criminals, and we need to do something about that. I am pro-globalization, but I think we need to do it with an eye on environmental concerns, and making sure that our workers aren't competing with people making a dollar a day. I'm not sure how to do that.

One of the reasons I'm definitely for Gore is that I believe he'll be a much better environmental president than I believe W would be.

va says: Will there be a similar forum during the Democratic convention?

Al Franken:


tom says: What's behind A. Huffington's apparent transformation from right-winger to quasi-radical?

Al Franken:

She met me. She also got fooled by Newt. She was a Newt acolyte. You aren't going to see Newt here at all, but he has a role on Thursday — he's going to give a speech on Adultery With a Purpose.

spatulalad says: What would it take to get Americans interested in the election?

Al Franken:

I think campaign finance reform is pretty crucial in getting people interested again, because I think the way the system works now, people are so cynical, they feel like they don't really have a chance to make any difference. If you're listening and reading this, you're probably not a problem. So I don't know what to tell you!


Al Franken, thanks for chatting on And many thanks to our audience for your participation.

Click here to check out our full lineup of GOP convention chats.

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