01 December 2009

Bold Leadership on Display

It might exist somewhere in Washington DC, but with the junior senator from the state of Minnesota - no chance.

The silent treatment reached an apex (or nadir) of sorts on Tuesday, when I caught Franken on the way to the Senate Democratic policy lunch to ask him the obvious question-of-the-day: What did he think of the Obama administration's plan to increase Afghanistan troop deployments by 34,000.

Franken turned slowly to face me and pursed his lips as if to speak. Just then his body man intervened and flicked out the business card of Franken's well-regarded spokeswoman, Jess McIntosh.

CNN's Dana Bash tried her luck: "What do you think as far as what you heard from the President so far?"

Franken: "You gotta talk to Jess McIntosh..."

Body guy: "We run everything on the record through the press shop."

Me: "Every other Senator we talk with, we ask a question, they answer the question.. I really find it unusual.."

Franken: "Well, give Jess a call and talk about this."

Somewhere in the unwritten rules of representing the people is being able to represent the people; not just shoo them off to some PR flack back in the office somewhere. What a putz.

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