Politico: Franken gets serious about flipping the Senate to Democrats

On a recent October afternoon, Democratic Sen. Al Franken mistakenly ambled toward the Mansfield Room, where the party in control — namely Republicans — meets weekly to hash out strategy.

“I keep thinking we’re in the majority,” the second-term Franken chuckled to a colleague as he changed course to the smaller Lyndon Baines Johnson Room.

Now the comedian turned senator, whose party lost control of the Senate to Republicans last year, is embarking on a yearlong campaign to help Democrats win it back and ensure that Senate races aren’t a forgotten undercard to the presidential contest. And after years of keeping a low profile on Capitol Hill, he’s actually happy to talk about it.

In a rare interview in his Capitol office, the Minnesotan described his most ambitious effort yet to help elect Democrats in his more than six years in Washington. Franken is using his celebrity to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democratic candidates, and Democrats are relying on him to play an outsize role, alongside high-profile senators like Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, to pick up the five seats the party needs to flip the Senate in 2016.

“The Republicans don’t share our basic values about where economic growth comes from,” Franken said. “I have nothing personally against my Republican colleagues other than their views on how the country works.”

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