"‘I may body-slam you.’
Senator Al Franken is joking. Spotting a Guardian reporter, he thinks of the former Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte’s body slam of the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs, and cannot resist the quip. Having surgically removed his funny bone and gone serious, Franken is allowing himself to be funny again.
On a recent visit to South St Paul Farmers’ Market in his home state of Minnesota, the comedian-turned-politician sports a purple Vikings NFL hat and starts by buying green beans for $3 and zucchini for $2, digging into his wallet to pay 27-year-old Ming Yang. As he moves to the next vegetable stall, she admits she is unaware of his previous career. ‘I only know what he’s done as a politician,’ she says.
Also among the rain-soaked gathering is Lisa Kleven, 51, wearing a ‘Franken 2020’ T-shirt she had made that morning. Yes, she explains, she would like him to run for president: ‘I’m so fed up listening to bad, ugly politics from Donald Trump and I think Al has been doing a good job holding people to account in the Senate. There was talk of people worrying that he was a comedian, but he’s a good guy with honesty and integrity.’"