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Al Franken: Mob Whisperer

Presumably, years of stand-up in front of angry, illogical and intoxicated crowds gets you good at this sort of thing:

By Ezra Klein  |  September 4, 2009; 5:40 PM ET
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Ezra: If you bump into Uncle Broder in the cafeteria, could you ask him if still thinks the "loud mouth" Al Franken is an embarrassment to the noble institution that includes James Inhofe, Tom Coburn and Jim Demint?

Posted by: jmadden88 | September 4, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow. What a contrast with the Republican demagogues! Actual rational, policy-centered discussion with constituents. Who'da thunk it?

Posted by: SqueakyRat | September 5, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Dude reads his Krugman. Anyone who listened to Mr. Franken's radio show would be completely unsurprised by his ability to understand the issues and get people to agree on at least some corners of what is going on.

Posted by: devpsychsmith | September 5, 2009 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Great performance by Franken. The key, as I see it, is that he never assumes poor faith -- he clearly has in the front of his mind that the people he's talking with are good people who are simply misinformed. Treat them with respect, and they grant him the courtesy of listening to him. And, I think, when people actually listen to what health care reform is all about, it's difficult to oppose it.

Posted by: davestickler | September 5, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Angry, right-wing mobs in Minnesota are beacons of rationalism and respect compared to their southern cousins.

Franken was good though.

Posted by: huilcobamba | September 5, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I didn't know Ann Althouse is in Minnesota. But that TEAP T-Shirt suits her well!

Posted by: Gray62 | September 7, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

well, this wasn't an angry mob ezra, these were concerned folks. i'm a leftist myself and look upon most of these "tea parties" with some disdain, but i also know that many (but not all, and perhaps not most) who go to these things are genuinely concerned and just want some kind of dialogue. these people were very fair and receptive to debate and dialogue and were just misinformed on some issues (probably thanks to fox news and libertarian forums)

Posted by: boing3887 | September 8, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

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