After months of largely avoiding Washington's national press corps, Sen. Al Franken had a coming-out of sorts with Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper and web site.
"The first thing I wanted people to know was that I was there to be serious…" Franken told Roll Call in a story published Tuesday. "… That I would keep my head down and do my work." Roll Call, which vies with The Hill and Politico for influence in the halls of power, touted it as the first extended national interview with the former comedian since he was sworn in last July. (He routinely accedes to interview requests from the Star Tribune and other Minnesota media). Only one downside to the big national scoop: Roll Call had to agree to limit topics primarily to health care, a condition that is not normally made, much less made explicit, in congressional interviews. The article largely portrays Franken as the "hardworking wonk" he has worked hard to be as he downplays his celebrity status in the Senate. "People had a right to be skeptical, I guess, that here I am in show business and you know, [ask] 'Is Al going to jump in front of the camera or is he going to be focused on the people of Minnesota?" Franken told Roll Call. He still hasn't jumped in front of many cameras, avoiding national television appearances as well as casual questions by reporters in the halls.