MINNESOTA POLITICIANS. Brother Ezra asked today at lunch, "What's the deal with Al Franken?" It was a good question. I hadn't heard much in a little while about his Senate bid in Minnesota. Polling shows that Franken is likely to win the nomination, as he leads trial lawyer and fellow DFL contender Mike Ciresi 52-29, but [corrected from the original] that even if Franken does get the nomination, incumbent Norm Coleman currently has him beat by about 22 points in a general match-up.

The latest news, meanwhile, is that Bob Olson has also joined the DFL primary. (Bob Olson is a hilariously common name in Minnesota, hence the campaign's slogan, "Vote for Bob Olson. It may be the Bob Olson you know.") Any impact Olson may have would likely draw even more support away from Ciresi. Besides, who can resist Stuart Smalley?

--Kay Steiger

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