Turns out Al Franken had a chance to speak, if only briefly, at the Democratic National Convention next week in Denver. But he turned it down to squeeze in more face time with voters at the State Fair.
Officials with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) said they asked Franken to join a handful of Senate challengers at the podium Wednesday evening.
The convention has scheduled about 10 minutes for the candidate showcase, which will include U.S. Rep. Tom Allen of Maine, Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley, former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and U.S. Rep. Tom Udall of New Mexico.
Also speaking will be U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who is DSCC chairman.
But Franken already had made plans to attend the convention Monday and return to Minnesota and the State Fair the next day, campaign spokesman Andy Barr said.
"It would be cool to be part of history and the spectacle of the convention, but there's a pretty good spectacle going on here, too," Barr said.
As a nationally known celebrity for his long career with "Saturday Night Live" and his political satire, Franken is notable for his absence from the convention roster.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar spoke briefly at the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston, before she was even a candidate, and will address the convention twice this year.
Matthew Miller, a DSCC spokesman, said that right now there are no openings to speak at the convention while Franken is in town Monday.
But if a time slot opens up, Miller said, "We'd love to have him speak."