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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Franken Gives Carls the Hard Sell

<anken’s 2014 campaign is underway and he decided to kick it off by paying a visit to the students of Carleton campus. The campus has shown strong support for his reelection already. In the fall, Carleton students made thousands of phone calls to potential supporters beating out every other Minnesota school by an impressive margin.

To show his thanks Senator Franken decided to stop by in person.

However, Franken might have had other motives as well.  The rally-style nature of the event made it clear that the senator was not just out for the votes of Carleton students, but their help in the upcoming campaign. Passage through the front door could not be secured without first filling out a form that indicated the hours in which you would be willing to volunteer for the senator. The Senator came to ask for help with calling, door to door visits and exit polling. He even stated, “studies have shown that people who volunteer have been proven to be happier in their lives. Just saying.” Even though the response was laughter, a lot of the audience seemed to be intent on helping the Senator in the upcoming election. The event began with an individual fifteen minutes with the students who made the most phone calls and then he addressed the student body with a q&a format allowing about an hour of student questioning of his campaign forum and what he stands for.

Many still think of Senator Franken back from his days on the late night comedy show Saturday Night Live. Freshman Josh Pitkofshy even jokingly stated, “I actually came to meet Tina Fey”. But throughout this visit it became clear that Mr. Franken has caught the political bug. Although he still made jokes in his answers, he showed sincerity and passion about issues such as climate change, the continuation of health care reform, and not becoming cynical in our current political environment. At the end of his time he was met with standing ovation.

However, it is easy to succeed in a crowd of avid supporters. Senator Franken has his work cut out for him, in the 2008 election he won by a margin of just over 300 votes (approximately the number of people who came to the campus event). It will be a long road back to Washington. Apparently he is counting on the college community to get him back to there.

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