WASHINGTON – Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has been collecting national headlines and tweets full of speculation that he should run against President Trump in 2020.
It’s largely because of his relentless approach to Trump’s Cabinet picks, calling new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos “the most incompetent Cabinet-level nominee I have ever seen,” and battling Sen. (now Attorney General) Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, with the clips going viral.
Franken brushes off the presidential speculation.
It’s a notable contrast with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a fellow Democrat who last week issued one news release after another touting her bipartisan work with Republican senators, with headlines including “Klobuchar, Cornyn Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Seniors from Neglect and Financial Exploitation Passes Judiciary Committee” and “Klobuchar, Tillis Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Veterans Exposed to Toxic Burn Pits.”
On Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, whom she met Thursday, Klobuchar was measured: “This is the beginning of the process and I plan to ask further questions at the hearing.”
Klobuchar relishes working with Republicans to pass bills. One ranking found her the No. 1 most effective senator for this reason.
But there’s a reason that clashing with Republicans is whipping up more grass-roots support than bipartisanship in this political moment. With the left having a “Tea Party moment” that recalls conservative uprisings in 2009-10, the senator who brags about bipartisan accomplishments is unlikely to win over many in the party base.