Midterm Reactions (with Al Franken and Ken Rudin)

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Republicans expected to celebrate a red wave this morning. Instead, we’re all left wondering who will control the Senate, and what’s next for Congress. Guest Host, Steve Nelson calls on former US Senator, Al Franken and “The Political Junkie”, Ken Rudin to get their early reactions to the 2022 Midterms and what it means for both parties going forward. Plus, Sen. Franken recounts what it’s like to wait for results on election night… and beyond, much like what the candidates in Georgia are experiencing.

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Al Franken, Andy Slavitt, Ken Rundin, Steve Nelson

Andy Slavitt  00:23

Hello, and welcome to in the bubble with Andy Slavitt. This is our special election edition. And obviously I am not Andy, I’m your guest host, Steve Nelson. I work pretty closely with the team that makes in the bubble here at Lemonada Media. Unfortunately, Andy’s not feeling well, though he’ll be fine. And he will be back soon. So let’s talk about the election. You are hearing this Wednesday morning. But we are recording this a little after midnight eastern time. 1209. Eastern to be specific. After a long midterm election season, we at least know a few things. But we sure don’t know all the things. So we want to talk about what we know now. And what that might mean for the country as much as we can say right now. So joining me in the bubble are two terrific guests. Former Minnesota Senator Al Franken, also the host of the Al Franken podcast. Senator, thank you for being here.

Al Franken  01:13

My pleasure.

Steve Nelson  01:14

And we’re also joined by one of America’s foremost experts on politics and elections. He also hosts his own podcast is Ken Rundin, aka the political junkie. Hello.

Ken Rundin  01:25

Hi, Steve. How are you?

Steve Nelson  01:27

I’m great. So at this moment, neither the house nor the Senate haven’t called for either party. However, one thing that it feels like we can say is that this does not look like the massive red wave that many people thought might be happening. Ken, is this a night that should bring some hope and optimism to Democrats? What does this mean, from what we know right now?

Ken Rundin  01:52

Well, well, if the if the House does go Republican, as most people think and right now, I counted at least four or five democratic seats that have turned red, then I it’s hard to say that the Democrats will, you know, celebrate anything, you know that it may happen. And of course, if, if Herschel Walker breaks 50% tonight, and of course, there’s a lot of counting to go. And my guess is that it still goes to a December 6 runoff. But if Walker somehow manages to beat a senator, Raphael Warnock, well, then it’s very possible that the Republicans could win the Senate as well. And that’s pretty remarkable, because we also are waiting on Pennsylvania with Fetterman and Oz. So I don’t think it’s something for the Democrats to celebrate. But as you said in your intro, the thought of a red wave, and of course, history suggested a red wave. And Biden’s plummeting numbers suggested that as did the economy, and the thought about crime, whether it’s real or not. So all those things did suggest a Republican, red wave, and it just never occurred, at least as of now.

Steve Nelson  02:59

Yeah, Senator Franken, at this moment, in the night, what do you think?

Al Franken  03:04

Well, at this moment, we don’t everything’s just kind of up in the air. So I mean, all the Senate races, Fetterman is up in the air. Georgia is up in the air. We don’t know hardly anything about Nevada. Arizona, I think we’re gonna take and I we didn’t get Ohio. And I don’t think we thought we would. I don’t know what’s going on with Wisconsin. So we don’t know. But I think it’s true. This is not the wave that you would normally get and mid-term with the President. Especially this approval rating, and also with the economic factors. And I think that’s pretty significant. I also think this is kind of a bad night for Trump, and which is good for the future of the country, I think. And but there’s just so much up in the air. And I don’t know how much won’t be up in the air tomorrow morning. Obviously some of this when you’re airing this. Some of this will be resolved. But yeah, at this time, we don’t we don’t know a lot but we do know that this is kind of a victory for Democrats because just not the wave. It’s just this ordinarily would be a wave and some of these things are bogus, like crime. They ran so much in a dark money ads that were just obscene about crime. And, you know, just one of the races that I’m looking at is New York 19th and that’s, you know, we have to Hold the lot of races in order not to lose the house, and we probably may lose the house by a few. But then we’re going to pick up some seats. We’re going to, that’s what it looks like right now that we’re actually picking up some seats. So it’s actually possible that we won’t lose the house. I think it’s doubtful. But one of the seats that we need to defend is New York 19th. And my former judiciary counsel, Josh Riley, is in a neck and neck race. In fact, I’m kind of waiting for a phone call to see how that’s resolved, because it’s so close. And they ran ads against him that were just obscene. They ran a series of ads on crime. And one was, it starts with like three 911 calls from, you know, people who are being domestic violence calls. And then it goes like, radical Josh Riley. It’s like that, you know, and his radical allies and want to and then they would say, what his radical allies who, which is who’s that, you know, want to get rid of cash bail. And Josh has never said anything about cash bail, wants to defund the police. And when I was in the Senate, the only things we ever did regarding police forces was fun them. And I’m just been so mad. And what this you know, Mark Leibovich, who writes for The Atlantic, […] wrote for The New York Times for years, I was talking to him and he said, you know, Moore’s Law where like the speed of computers doubles every year. You know, he said, like, these ads are getting twice as bad every cycle.

Ken Rundin  07:01

Can I just add something to what Senator Franken just said about Donald Trump? I mean, I agree that it’s a bad night for Trump and especially because of the victory the overwhelming victory by Ron DeSantis in Florida. Of course, that’s the guy that Donald Trump calls wrong. The sanctimonious, because of course he feels he created the Santa’s in 2018. And now look at look at the Santa’s now as a possible presidential candidate, the fact that DeSantis won by such a large margin, or with Charlie Crist, the fact that I mean, Florida Republicans, you know, DeSantis’ redistricting scheme that basically redrew almost every Democrat out of a seat. They picked up three seats in Florida alone, the Republicans did. So it’s a great night for Ron DeSantis, perhaps a possible beginning of a presidential race. And of course, that’s not something that Donald Trump would love to hear, especially when it looks like he’s broken and prepared to make a presidential announcement on November 15th.

Steve Nelson  07:57

Yeah, Senator, what do you think of Trump versus DeSantis?

Al Franken  08:01

Well, I think that Trump, I’m, I’m just very worried right now about our democracy. I want to see how the secretaries of state races turn out. Because if and, again, those are in Michigan, and Minnesota, and I want to see what’s in Arizona, Nevada, and those are nightmares. And if we lose those, could Trump win an election the same way he wanted to win the 2020 election? I worry very much about our democracy. And I think it looks like the trends for tonight are such that I don’t think those Secretaries of State will win. But I’m not sure, I haven’t seen the results of those. But I really worry about, I’ve always thought that there’s going to be a tipping point at some point, or I’ve thought this the last few years, there may be a tipping point where we lose our democracy. And sometimes I think the tipping point has already happened. And part of that one of the tipping points was just Trump getting elected, and him being president. But before that, it’s like Citizens United. I thought it was part of the tipping point. There’s so much dark money in this stuff. And it’s so ugly. And then, you know, Shelby County, the 2010 elections in the state legislatures, state legislatures, gerrymandering, everything. I just am, I’m so worried about losing our democracy. And I think this has been a good night about that, because this is not what I thought it could be more sheltered it could be.

Steve Nelson  09:52

Ken, do you agree with that assessment that this hasn’t been the horror show, it could be for democracy specifically?

Ken Rundin  09:57

everything I wrote in the days leading up to Tuesday’s election was full of doom and gloom. I mean, I’ve been covering or I’ve been a fan or I’ve been a political junkie since the 1966 midterms. And I remember, you know, 66′ with Vietnam and OBJ and 74′ was Watergate and 2010 was anti-Obama, 2018 was anti-Trump. So I remember every, every word. This is the first time I ever remember I mean, I ever remember feeling like dread, like, when Kerry Lake stands up and Arizona says, I’ll accept the results of the election only if I win. I mean, who says that besides Donald Trump, but we’ve never had that forget about what we used to think about Democrats or Republicans, Republicans never pulled that kind of stuff. And the fact that you had over 300 Republican candidates around the country who refused to acknowledge the results of the 2020 election refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of Joe Biden as president. And as Senator Franken said, the fact that so many of them, were saying, Well, you know, once the apparatus is in our hands, we could count the votes the way we want. And that scared the heck out of me. I agree. From what we see right now, that horror show didn’t happen. And there’s also one more thing I want to mention. If the Republican House decides, let’s spend all our time and trying to, you know, deport Hunter Biden or hang Dr. Fauci or impeach President Biden, if that is what the Republicans did what Kevin McCarthy and his you know, and as Marjorie Taylor Greene hench people have in store, maybe there could be a reaction by the voters in 2024. God helped me, I’m not looking ahead to 2024 on election night 2022. But I’m not as depressed as I expected to be at this time.

Al Franken  11:51

Bobert might lose. And I, by the way, I have a pack that and I supported her opponent, because I saw an opportunity there. And I think she may go down.

Ken Rundin  12:05

The last I saw it was 68%. She was down like 52 to 48. But everybody said yes, that’s true. But they didn’t counter, you know, the red parts yet. I don’t know. That will be something if she goes down. But yeah, but I mean, the thought of Jim Jordan becoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. You know, it’s Animal House on Network National Lampoon, you can’t make this stuff up.

Steve Nelson  12:29

Well, look, we need to take a quick break. We’re going to come back. I want to talk more about what’s going to happen going forward. And I feel like I need a little refresher about what might happen in Georgia if there’s a runoff. So we’re going to start with that in just a moment here on the bubble. All right, can you mentioned that Georgia right now and again, at this particular moment, it is 12:22AM Eastern Time, it looks like Georgia might come down to a run off again. Can you talk about the process like what is going to happen? In the morning tomorrow, like finished counting, let’s just walk us through what happens that?

Ken Rundin  13:24

We’ve seen this before. We certainly have saw this in 2020. When they were two Senate races up in Georgia. It was the appointed Senator Leffler and the other Republican Senator David Purdue. Purdue was favorite to beat Jon Ossoff. And if the Republicans you know, united behind Carrie, I think it’s Carrie Leffler. She would beat Raphael Warnock. So anyway, went to a runoff on January 6, which was like two months after the election. So you know, it ruined everybody’s Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s because, you know, the campaign was going on. And as it turned out, not only the Joe Biden carried the state for the first Democrat since since Bill Clinton to win Georgia, but both Ossof and Warnock won and gave the Senate to Democrat control now.

Al Franken  14:15

What was interesting about that was I think that Trump gave that to them. Because Trump was said, of course, the election but stolen and the election was rigged, and so he discouraged..

Ken Rundin  14:33

Don’t bother voting, because the votes won’t count, because they won’t count them.

Al Franken  14:36

So he gave us the Senate which is very Trumpian. And so what will happen is we’ll have the runoff, but then the Georgia Republicans learned not to let it go two months, so it’s going to be what December, December 6th. So among earlier and it’ll be, you know, it used to be putting a gun to your wife’s or ex-wife’s head was kind of a disqualifier for being a senator. And now, but now, I guess it’s Republicans in Georgia like that kind of thing. I don’t understand how this was a race. But it says to me just how scarily divided we are, and that Republicans would say, Okay, fine. Yeah, I know that he lies about everything. He’ll pay for abortions. I’ll still vote for him. Because I’m a Republican. That didn’t used to happen before this badly. And that’s part of what my fear is the source of my fear about where we’re going,

Ken Rundin  16:04

Senator, do you remember when Rick Perry couldn’t name the third branch of the cabinet he was going to get rid of during that debate, and his campaign was over, because he couldn’t remember the third cabinet position he would kill.

Al Franken  16:20

Ironically, it was energy. When she became Secretary.

Ken Rundin  16:27

Herschel Walker with you know his cockamamie thoughts about evolution and clean air going to China and paying for the abortions. And I mean, making up stuff. I mean, it was insane. And I kept thinking, Georgia can’t possibly vote both that way, you know.

Steve Nelson  16:44

So Senator, and when asked you to can, how did we get here? Why do you think we ended up so divided?

Al Franken  16:52

Well, I think it’s going back to some of the things I talked about, which is there’s so much dark money in these things now. And there’s so much lying, and this year, there’s misinformation. And then there’s disinformation. And disinformation is what the Bannon’s of the world and Roger Stone’s and the essentially now the Republican Party put out there deliberate disinformation. And, and it’s the Koch brothers putting it out, it’s a whole Republican apparatus will put out disinformation. And of course, there’s social media, you know, I wrote these books. One in 95. Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot and other observations and I realize the lying liars who tell them a fair balanced look at the right. That was about Fox. And I was basically saying that people were putting out disinformation. And then, of course, we got the internet. And it’s just gotten worse and worse and worse. Till now, there are so many Republicans 70% of Republicans believe the election was rigged. 70%, how does that happen? How does anyone and it’s so toxic now, and you can’t, I don’t know how we survive. When so many people are just in an entirely different universe of information. And that information is you know, Bannon loves telling lies. They could you believe it after what happened to Paul Pelosi. Then immediately, they started going like, well, we don’t know the whole story. It may have been a process. Really, guys, come on. That’s what you do now, huh?

Ken Rundin  19:04

But that’s beyond life. That’s cruelty. The fact that everybody will make jokes. I mean, remember when Steve Scalise was shot during that Republican baseball practice game and Nancy Pelosi at the time said, Any attack on any member of Congress is an attack on all of us.

Al Franken  19:23

Paul Ryan said that.

Ken Rundin  19:27

Donald Trump said, well, I think they would, you know, they broke the glass from the inside and Donald Trump Jr. have tweeted stuff of a hammer with a diaper and they’re laughing the house is off. They think this is funny. That’s what kills me, the cruelty. Forget about the lies. Not that we can forget about the lies, but the abject cruelty that the Republicans feel and there’s no line that they will not cross that point.

Al Franken  19:55

I’m going to quote Margaret Atwood and this is a who wrote Handmaid’s Tale. And I’m not saying that these not comparing. I gotta be careful about how I put this. I’m not saying that these guys are Nazis. But she said, what do you have to remember is it was fun being a Nazi. And the thing is, is it this cruelty. They have fun. They have fun being cruel. Bannon has fun being cruel. And this is the source of my fear about what this country is becoming. Because this is it’s almost daily. I am shocked by this. And I was very shocked after that happened to Paul Pelosi. You know, this stuff came out.

Ken Rundin  21:01

Just thinking that, you know, we may not know what party controls the Senate after the until the December 6 runoff. But then Senator Franken, I’m thinking of your race in 2008 when the election was in November, but you weren’t declared the winner until July 2009.

Al Franken  21:19

But at least we did that in an orderly, transparent way. I mean, I won in time to be seated in January, I won the recount and time to be seated with my colleagues in January. But in Minnesota, the Supreme Court has to sign off before you can be certified by the governor. So they delayed, they did everything they could to delay it. And so we went they did was filed and election contests and delayed it and delayed it and delayed it. And we had a three judge panel, a Republican, Democrat independent who were very Minnesotan. So they did it incredibly slowly. So, I didn’t get there but until July, and that was delivered on by the Republicans delay me get there so we wouldn’t, but when I finally got there I was the […] vote. That’s how we got the Affordable Care Act. But at least that was done transparently, every ballot, every ballot was counted. Every single ballot, we had a Coleman representative and a Franken representative with a judge at all these different tables, they turn over every ballot, you could challenge the ballot. By the time the challenge ballots were reduced, because a lot of the challenges were just ridiculous. But by time we got the number of ballots that were at issue. They went up on the internet, and every Minnesotan could look at every contested ballot. That’s the only back in 2008. That’s how we did things. Now, it’s 70% of Republicans think that the election was rigged in 2020. And these guys will just lie and lie and put out this different the disinformation about it. And it is a scary friggin world.

Steve Nelson  23:24

Senator, I want to take a quick break. But when we come back, I want to ask you what it’s like on election night and also what it’s like when you have to wait that long to find out what the results were you’re listening to in the bubble from Lemonada Media. Senator, you had a long time to wait in 2008 from the time of the election to the time that you were sworn in. What is it like on election night? And then what is it like when you don’t know what happens? What does that feel like?

Al Franken  24:14

Well, right now it’s election night and my former judiciary counsel judge Riley is kinda in the same position I was in which I would just say to my campaign manager, Stephanie Treyarch pretty much every 20 minutes. So what’s happening now and she’s, it’s very close. And then 20 minutes later, I go, so how are we doing now? It’s very, very close. And then 20 minutes later, I go with it. Very, very close. And then later, very, very, very close.

Ken Rundin  24:47

How much were you paying her?

Al Franken  24:53

She was great. I couldn’t pay her enough. Fantastic. And at the morning I was, you know, we got some sleep in the morning I was down by 700. And some votes. And of course, Norm Coleman said, this lead is unsurmountable. I won. And, of course, no, that’s not true. And so then they have to there’s a process they go through and which they, you know, the people Mr. Porter or the Iron Range for some bracing, calling in a result of the state office, they let someone drops, one somewhere. Anyway, it turns out, then it was like 200, and some votes. And so, then we did a recount, and I won the recount in January, but then we had to go to go to court. So on election night, it was what I described. And then the rest of the thing was, I had Mark Elias, who is probably the lead democratic election lawyer writing this thing, and I left up to him, he knew what he was doing.

Steve Nelson  26:06

What did it feel like that? What were your emotions during that time?

Al Franken  26:11

Well, by the time that I knew I want by we did the recount, and I won, I was very confident after that recount, but then I had to wait until July. So I remember, you know, during the trial, this long, three months trial, or whatever it was going to Lunz, which is a supermarket there, and then picking out an avocado and a woman comes up to me and says I love how you’re handling this recount. And I said, well, you see this avocado is handling it exactly the way I am. Because all I was doing is letting lawyers do this thing. I was raising money. That’s what I was doing. I was calling so we could pay for the recount. And at a certain point I thought I knew I had won. And at one point Harry Reid had said, why don’t we arrange it so that people vote are seated so that we have two thirds of the Senate? So the Senate can have, see you. And I went no, I don’t want to do that. And so I had to wait till July. Right. But I wanted to do it right. And I wanted to get re-elected. And so I did it in 14, that one was by over 200,000 votes.

Steve Nelson  27:41

Now the 312 in 2008.

Al Franken  27:43

That’s right. That’s exactly the number.

Steve Nelson  27:46

I want to bring it back to this election? We talked a little bit about what Democrats should be taking away from this. What should Republicans be taking away from tonight, again, with what we now you know, a little bit before 1am Eastern time?

Ken Rundin  28:01

Well, if you’re looking at I mean, I’ve said this before, but if you’re looking at history and history of midterm elections, if you’re looking at the Biden unpopularity, his approval numbers, which are below 50%, and have been that way for a long time. If you look at the highest inflation rate in 40 years, if you look at all these factors that should lead to a clear Republican victory, and they didn’t. Then you say, well, maybe it was the great Republican year that that many, many of us everybody seemed to predict. At the same time, you wonder if they fought if they should have focused more on rather than the conspiracy theories rather on the fact that I’m still fighting the 2020 election. Maybe they should have just, you know, gone after the pocketbook things that I think many people did. I mean, as Senator Franken said earlier, clearly, the attack lines on crime was obviously a bogus issue, but it worked. It certainly worked at ground Fetterman. Because now John Fetterman had a large lead, but he was that lead was narrowing even before the disastrous debate. So I think if they focus more on the pocketbook issues, the things that seem to turn elections, they would have done more than, you know, I mean, there’s no reason why I mean, of course, JD Vance did win. But there’s no reason he should have had a debate, an appearance with Donald Trump at the end. There’s no reason why Mehmet Oz should have had Trump in Pennsylvania at the election.

Al Franken  29:34

Let’s have some caution here because they could, these are still we don’t know what the result will be. In Georgia, we don’t know what the result final result will be in Pennsylvania. We don’t know what the final result will be in Nevada. We don’t know what it’ll be in Wisconsin. We don’t know really what it’ll be in Arizona. So this could look very different. If they run the table on those that kind of was very different. So we don’t know, we don’t really know right now I know that I am pretty sure that the gains that they have in the house, this is ironic, because I think everyone going into this went like, well, we still could keep the Senate. And but we’re gonna lose a lot of seats in the house. And ironically, depending on we just don’t know. We just don’t know. So at one o’clock now, Eastern whatever time it is, I’m not looking at anything. We don’t know. But this is not the kind of wave that you would anticipate with these factors. Going into this.

Ken Rundin  30:18

Senator Franken, I have a serious question here. And I’m just thinking about this right now, that the fueling all along was, if this was going to be a Republican route, it could have lead, could have led President Biden to ultimately decide not to run again in 2024, the fact that the Democrats did better than expected, even though I still think they’re gonna lose the house. But even with everything so close, do you think tonight’s results again, with there’s so much we don’t know? But do you think that changes the calculation as to what Biden may do in two years?

Al Franken  31:23

I don’t know what’s going through his mind. And, you know, I think, yeah, he’ll be heartened. But I think that this wasn’t the kind of wave that, you know, that was 2010, or for that matter, 2006 or 2018. You know, those kinds of ways it just was not. And, you know, one thing we know is that polling isn’t great these days. And I just thought like, well, the polling was wrong, and 16. And it really was worse than we thought and went toward Trump in a way I didn’t imagine. And then it was closer and 20 than I thought it was going to be. So I thought like, maybe this polling is off, and it’s often that direction, and we’re gonna really get spanked, I mean, really close here. And that didn’t happen.

Ken Rundin  32:28

Yeah, polling, I think was good 2022, because they said that, that Georgia was dead, even that Pennsylvania was dead. Even that, you know, Wisconsin was dead even. And for the most part they have been, regardless of who ultimately wins. They were dead, even states. So. So I mean, of course, some of the polling was awful, like Kathy Hoechlin, New York, won by a big margin than the polls suggested. But for the most part, polling suggested that these key Senate races would be very close. And so far they’ve proven to be.

Al Franken  33:00

Well, what I was saying is, is that in 20, the polling was off. And in 16, it was way off. And I had no reason to believe going into this, that this wouldn’t be way off in that direction. That’s what I was saying. As it turns out, what we were witnessing, and I think it’s partly a matter of how divided we are as a country that the poll was more accurate, because it was easier to measure. You went like, yep, it’s a 50/50 race in Georgia. It’s a 50/50 race in Wisconsin. Yep. It’s gonna be close in Nevada. Yep. It’s gonna be you know, I think maybe polling was more accurate, just because people are so partisan now. And so divided in the camps, that there isn’t just a lot of straying over, you know, splitting your ballot that obviously they did in in Pennsylvania. You know, Mastriano was just unacceptable. I think so a lot of people, but, and we don’t know what’s, I don’t know where Wisconsin is right now. I certainly hope. Barnes wins. And we don’t know, we just don’t know.

Steve Nelson  34:17

We don’t know, the theme of the show. Ken, one more question for you before we wrap it. And I have one more question for you, too, Senator. What happens with the debt ceiling, if Republicans win in the house?

Ken Rundin  34:32

Well, the debt ceiling is one of those things in separate record note and others better than anybody, that there’s always a Republican threat, that the government is going to shut down rather than raise the debt ceiling, because it’s, it’s […]. It’s, you know, antithetical to everything they believe. And, of course, you know, they spent like crazy when Bush was president when Trump was president. But when Democrats are president then, you know, they suddenly worried about the budget concerns, but somehow Mitch McConnell on this may be the nicest thing I’ll ever say about him. But he seems to be more of a realist than most Republicans in the Senate. And I just wonder that, like everything else debt ceiling, they’ll be yakking and complaining and, and, you know, demonizing everything. And when it comes down to the final thing, everything gets fine. It just, that’s really the way it keeps.

Al Franken  35:23

The debt ceiling isn’t about shutting the government down. That’s not what the debt ceiling is. The debt ceiling is about defaulting on our debt. It’s much more serious than shutting the government down. It will put the entire world economy in jeopardy. This is much different than just shutting the government down, which they’ve done before. And we went up this they threatened this in 11. And we went to the 11th hour, and it was very frightening. And they’re talking about doing, McCarthy has talked about using that. And Scalise has talked about doing that. And what they want to do is hold a gun to Biden’s head and say you’ve got to cut make cuts in Medicare and Social Security, or we’ll let you know, we won’t raise the debt limit. And that is, I live that in 2011. And it was, you know, I, I couldn’t believe they were doing it. But we actually, it went so late that it did hurt our credit rating.

Ken Rundin  36:42

But don’t we always back down at the last second?

Al Franken  36:46

Unless they don’t, and so I you know, I hope McConnell I hope they do it during the lame duck, we should be able to do it during the lame duck. And you’ll remember they raised the debt ceiling with just our using the 51 votes. They allowed us to do that. So McConnell could do that again. And there’s gonna be, it’ll be very interesting to see what the pressure is on him from, you know, the House Republicans and from McCarthy and from Trump and this could be this could be very weird mess coming up to, you know, the debt ceiling won’t expire in December. But this is when they’d have to McConnell should dispose of this problem. And put it further enough into the future past the next election. I don’t know what’s going to happen.

Steve Nelson  37:51

Yeah. But again, theme of the show, we don’t know what’s going to happen. Senator Franken last question for you. You’ve talked a lot about some of the things that give you pause or that give you things to fear. What is something that you’re looking at that gives you hope?

Al Franken  38:07

Well, you know, I, you know, when I see young people who are engaged, and are smart, and brilliant, I also see, you know, I have a lot of hope in our abilities to address problems through innovation. I mean, when I think of hope, for example, climate change, which is something that we all need to be incredibly concerned about, I have grandchildren. I, you know, scientific progress gives me hope. But, you know, I have just recently over the last month or so, been so shocked. The Pelosi thing, just the reaction to the Pelosi thing actually just shocked me. And this is like, yeah, it’s like a former president. I know it’s Trump. But these Republicans, Ted Cruz, as Senator questioning this and saying, Well, we don’t know what’s really happened and my goodness, so that really makes me so concerned for a future and again, I have grandchildren and I don’t want them to. I want them that inherited the democracy that we’ve had for all these years, centuries.

Steve Nelson  39:48

Senator Franken, thank you so much for your time tonight and your thoughts. I appreciate it. And Ken Rundin political junkie, thank you for joining us as well. And I want to say I know it meant a lot to Andy to have both of you here tonight. I’m sorry. He couldn’t be here with us. But he will be back soon. And he will undoubtedly unpack a lot of the things that we know when we know them. Take care. Thanks for listening to in the bubble. And we’ll talk soon.

CREDITS  40:25

Thanks for listening to IN THE BUBBLE. We’re a production of Lemonada Media. Kathryn Barnes, Jackie Harris and Kyle Shiely produced our show, and they’re great. Our mix is by Noah Smith and James Barber, and they’re great, too. Steve Nelson is the vice president of the weekly content, and he’s okay, too. And of course, the ultimate bosses, Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs, they executive produced the show, we love them dearly. Our theme was composed by Dan Molad and Oliver Hill, with additional music by Ivan Kuraev. You can find out more about our show on social media at @LemonadaMedia where you’ll also get the transcript of the show. And you can find me at @ASlavitt on Twitter. If you like what you heard today, why don’t you tell your friends to listen as well, and get them to write a review. Thanks so much, talk to you next time.

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