Franken Finally Sworn In, and Hugs Ensue
By Perry Bacon Jr.
Al Franken turned the normally staid floor of the United States Senate into a virtual hugathon as he embraced his new colleagues after being officially sworn-in today as the chamber's 100th member.
Franken took his oath of office with a Bible once owned by the late Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone, who Franken has called his political hero. The ceremony completed what was essentially a three-year campaign for the former Saturday Night Live star, including two years of actual campaigning and 246 days of waiting after the November election.
Franken didn't take any questions before or after his swearing-in, but showed his excitement in the hugs he delivered to Democrats, Republicans and Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the chamber's two independents. Watching from the Senate gallery, his wife Franni waved and offered two thumbs up to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who had helped raise money for Franken's campaign.
The new senator displayed a little of the humor that made him famous before he entered politics, joking "I'm an extremely good-looking person" as more than two dozen photographers took pictures of he and his family during a photo-op after the official swearing-in, which was led by Vice President Biden.
"You're going to do great," Biden told Franken, who said simply "thank you."
July 7, 2009; 1:28 PM ET
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