NOT JUST DEMOCRATS, EITHER
There are four state Senators who are now urging Senator Al Franken (D – MN) to reconsider his resignation until an ethics committee has a chance to review his case. Shockingly, it isn’t just Democrats who are urging the Senator to stay put.
Almost as shocking is the fact that two of them wrote statements just weeks ago demanding that he resign, they have apparently changed their minds.
Franken announced his resignation in the first week of December, amid urging from many of his fellow Democrats, after eight women accused him of sexual misconduct. At least two of those very same Democrats are already back-peddling, however.
Senator Joe Manchin (D – W.V) was one of the few who urged Franken not to step down in the first place. He spoke with Politico on their “Off Message” podcast.
“What they did to Al was atrocious, the Democrats,” said Manchin.
Manchin says that if the allegations are proven to be true, then Franken should step down. Otherwise, the man should stay right where he is. He also had something to say about those Democrats who urged Franken to step down so vocally.
Manchin said, “The most hypocritical thing I’ve ever seen done to a human being — and then have enough guts to sit on the floor, watch him give his speech and go over and hug him? That’s hypocrisy at the highest level I’ve ever seen in my life. Made me sick.”
CHANGE OF HEART
Concerning the Democrats who have had the change of heart, there are at least two.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D – VT) issued a statement calling for Franken to resign. He has since been overheard by two separate sources stating that he regrets doing so.
A third Senator, who asked to be kept anonymous due to the current political climate surrounding this topic, told Politico,
“I think we acted prematurely, before we had all the facts,” said the Senator, “In retrospect, I think we acted too fast.”
IT ISN’T TOO LATE
Many hope that this might mean Franken will stick around for a while. Indeed, the Senator’s timeline has been unconventional, and details have been murky as to how long he would wait before making the resignation official.
On the other hand, the Governor of the state has already announced Franken’s replacement. Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith will fill the seat until a special election can be held next year.
Manchin still holds out hope that more Democrats will come around and urge Franken to wait until an ethics investigation.
“That’s the human and decent thing to do. If they have any decency in them, they’d do that,” Manchin said in the podcast interview. “Every one of them that signed for him to go out —including Chuck Schumer — should do that.”