Oh, but wait, he wasn’t. But Al Franken IS. That’s Franken, zero els.

A group promoting United States-Israel ties is raising funds for Norm Coleman with an e-mail that opens by referring to Al Franken by the not-particularly-Jewish-sounding name “Franklin”:

We are making an appeal for one of our friends and steadfast supporters of US-Israel relations, Senator Norm Coleman. The election in Minnesota and its recount have been distressing to follow. Coleman won the election. After the recount, Franklin came out slightly ahead, but tragically this recount was filled with many irregularities and is now being contested in court.

Both Franken, a Democrat, and Coleman, a Republican, are Jewish — as were the last two men to hold the seat: Rudy Boschwitz, a Republican, and the late Paul Wellstone, a Democrat. A letter that Boschwitz sent just before Election Day 1990 to “Our Friends in the Minnesota Jewish Community” asserting that Wellstone “has no connection whatsoever with the Jewish community” is sometimes blamed for Boschwitz’s loss to Wellstone that year.


Oi ve.


  1. #1 The Science Pundit
    March 17, 2009

    Franklin may not sound too Jewish, but Benjamin sure does.

  2. #2 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 17, 2009

    I doubt that the name change was intended to make it sound like Franken isn’t Jewish. This could easily just be sloppy reporting. And for thwat its worth I’ve met about as many Jews named Franklin as named Franken. It isn’t a terribly not Jewish name. In any event, with the higher rates of intermarriage in the last 20 years, Jews having non-Jewish-sounding names is becoming increasingly common.

  3. #3 Leslie
    March 17, 2009

    Yes, it’s very odd to hear about the O’Donnell bat mitzvah or something along those lines.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    March 18, 2009

    Johan: If only you had also stopped typing. Thinking. Even breathing. after reading the headline. Then the world would be a slightly better place. But no, you just could not leave well enough along, could you.

    (Johan is gone, forever.)

  5. #5 Richard Parker
    March 18, 2009

    According to JTA.org, the e-mail was sent over the weekend by NORPAC, which bills itself as “the largest American multi-candidate political action committee that supports public officials who work toward the goal of ever-closer cooperation between the United States and Israel.”

    ‘Nuff said.