Bill Maher probably spoke for millions of Americans when he commented that he was glad Senator Al Franken “allowed to be funny” again. What made this interview exceptional, however, is that it wasn’t just funny, or just informative, or just something that might give us a ray of hope — it was all three. (see video below …)
For example, Franken began by joking about being glad that more people, even some Republicans, were beginning to realize that Trump is a terrible President — something he had known for weeks!” The Minnesota Senator beamed.
Franken remarked that despite all the “musical chairs” in the White House, that the problem with the Trump administration was Trump. Even with people like general Kelly around — he threatens nuclear war. He then made some very serious statements regarding the recent tragedies of the week and how terrible the administration’s response was.
Franken didn’t think things would change as long as Trump was there. He did offer a ray of hope in suggesting that some GOP lawmakers were very unsure about Trump’s ability to lead behind the scenes.
He followed up by promising that Americans should expect a serious bi-partisan effort on healthcare legislation now that all the “repeal and replace” and “skinny” stuff has failed. Franken promised that he is working with other Senators, including GOPers like Lamar Alexander, who chairs the Health Committee, and Democrats like Patty Murray to stabilize the exchanges, bring down premiums and copays for Americans. When they get that done, he is already preparing more legislation to bring down the costs of pharmaceuticals.
Franken also gave an anecdote about how he has worked across the aisle in the past. He recalled a story where he did a bill with Johnny Isaacson of Georgia. The bill delivered service dogs to veterans with PTSD. After receiving positive feedback on the bill, Isaacson approached Franken and told him that if needed his help on anything else, just ask. Franken then told the Georgia Republican that he had a bill that was a Gay marriage / Abortion on Demand bill … Isaacson told him that “he’d get back to him.”
The audience laughed, but Franken made a great point We can work together, yet not every issue will there be common ground. But as Barack Obama used to say as President, let’s find the places where we can agree. Franken seems to be carrying on in that tradition.
One of the reasons Franken went from winning by a little over 300 votes in 2008 to 200,000 votes in 2014 is that he has gotten things done, he has found common ground where it exists.
Bill and Al also had some fun talking about how being a comedian affected how he could act during his first campaign and term, and the “dehumorizer” machine that the GOP had built to turn what he thought would be a positive (his comedy career) into a negative.
This might be one of the best interviews Maher has done in a long time Al Franken was a great guest as well and one that might give some of us at least a glimmer of hope for the future
Check out the full interview below, you’ll be glad you did:
Maher ended the interview on an interesting note — suggesting that Al Franken along with another one of Maher’s guests, Gavin Newsome (California Lt Governor) would make a great 2020 ticket. Time will tell on that prognostication.
Featured image via screen capture from youtube.com