Name Recognition is Everything

The AP is reporting that Al Franken is leading Democratic rival Mike Ciresi in the primary for the 2008 Senate race, by as much as 15% according to one poll.

I'm definitely not an expert on this particular race, but I do know a little about Al Franken. I know that the funniest thing he ever did was Stuart Smalley ("I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!"), which was a parody of the self-help movement. I know that his skits with Tom Davis during the early years of SNL were woefully unfunny. I know he wrote a book, called Rush Limbaugh is a a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, that spurred Rush Limbaugh to lose a lot of weight. And I know if I were obese and living in Minnesota, I would definitely not vote for someone who made millions of dollars from a book whose title was very derogatory towards obesity, both by way of the connection with the target of derision (Limbaugh) and as a derogatory modifier of that target.

According to the AP, Mr. Ceresi has a considerably different resume. Ceresi is a trial lawyer who served as general counsel to the government of India in a landmark lawsuit over a catastrophic gas leak that killed 5000 people, won millions for injured women in the Dalkon shield birth control case, and led the state of Minnesota to a $6 billion verdict over tobacco companies. If that's not a progressive's wet dream, I don't know what is. But I guess Minnesota democrats appreciate mediocre comedy over actual accomplishments. Too bad for them.