WASHINGTON — As Americans prepare for their Thanksgiving Day turkey, or perhaps protein bars, or artichoke hearts, or whatever the au courant are dining upon this year, I would like to propose a thought: You all have much to be grateful for. Our friends on the left may doubt it, but even they have much to be grateful for. For my part, I am grateful not to have Sen. Al Franken for a neighbor. You saw what one of the zealots did to his neighbor Sen. Rand Paul. Moreover, I have two very pretty daughters, who will be visiting me. With Franken in the neighborhood, we would have to maintain a high-security watch, or possibly even an electrified fence with barbed wire.
Seriously, Al is a very peculiar guy. First of all, he is very unpleasant. He yells at his staff and has a very high turnover among staffers. He even yells at people who aren't on his staff. Then, too, he is obsessive. Here in Washington, D.C., he has been rumored to be sure to knock off President Donald Trump in 2020, so we have not heard about his temper and his monomanias. But it's doubtless that since his overactive libido has been revealed, we shall be hearing about other unpleasant aspects of his persona.
Of course, last week there were stories in the news that hinted at exactly how unpleasant he is. To begin with, there was the report by an attractive California television personality, Leeann Tweeden, that the oaf tried to have his way with her while they were traveling abroad — she to charm our troops in Afghanistan, he to hit upon any unsuspecting woman. She reported in vivid detail his "slimy" attempt to kiss her on the mouth and how physically repulsive he is, and she even supplied a photograph of the unfunny man placing his hands over her breasts as she slept aboard a C-17 military transport plane.
I have never seen this amorous side of the latest progressive Casanova, but I did observe his obsessiveness, and I observed it up close and personal. He displayed it to me during a radio interview with him some years ago at a Conservative Political Action Conference. What reminded me of it was the testimony of another California radio personality, Melanie Morgan, last week. She came forth with an account of Franken's obsessiveness that could have landed him in the clink if she were not so charitable.
According to her, she was appearing on Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect" show, and as ill luck would have it, another of Maher's guests was Franken. Morgan became mired in a disagreement with him about the federal budget, of all things. He would not relent. After the show, he followed her offstage, spewing statistics, economic theories and threats. He carried his ongoing rant into the greenroom. His ravings continued even beyond that. He called her three times and scared her to the point where she informed him she was going to call the police if he did not subside and leave her alone.
I heard about Morgan's travail during her appearance on the Sean Hannity radio show. He followed up with a story about his experience with Franken's obsessiveness.
According to Hannity, he was at Fox's studio in New York when he encountered Franken. The enflamed senator engaged him in an impromptu debate. It became heated, all the heat being emitted by Franken. Hannity begged off, but Franken would not relent. He had endured enough, just as Morgan had. Fox's security people were just down the hall. They surrounded Franken, and only then did he relent and withdraw.
Hannity's story also brought to mind my experience with Franken's obsessiveness. At the conference, we were seated on what was called Radio Row and appearing on, I believe, a show he hosted. The show did not go well for him. His wit is leaden. At one point, he asked me, "What do you do?" Apparently, he had never heard of The American Spectator or simply did not know what an editor-in-chief does. Quite by chance, I had a ball in my pocket. I pulled it out of my pocket and said, "This is what I do," as I rolled the ball across the desk that separated us. He was unaccountably startled as though it were a grenade. He became abusive. He would not quiet down. At break time, I left him to harangue without me.
What was odd was that a friend reported back to me that she saw him still haranguing the ball two hours later. He had it in his hand. I should have called an ambulance for him. God knows how he got home.
Where this very unpleasant man plans to go from here is now unknown. It appears that having one's way with unwilling women is no longer tolerated as it was in Bill and Hillary Clinton's day. One thing is certain: Al Franken will never be president of the United States. That is something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving Day. Happy Thanksgiving to you.
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator. He is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the author most recently of "The Death of Liberalism," published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. To find out more about R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.