Al Franken is set to leave the U.S. Senate next month after his dramatic resignation following a series of accusations of sexual misconduct both before and during his foray into politics. Last week, Minnesota’s governor selected Tina Smith, his lieutenant governor, to succeed Franken as the junior senator from Minnesota. Despite these seemingly conclusive acts, several Democrats are expressing regret at having pushed Franken to resign so quickly and some are even advocating for him to remain in the Senate, according to a report by Politico.
“I think we acted prematurely, before we had all the facts,” one senator anonymously told Politico. The senator asked not to be named due to the issue still being a politically sensitive topic among Democrats.
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, who initially issued a statement calling for Franken’s resignation, has, according to the report, had a change of heart on the issue. He reportedly told Franken in private that he regrets having pushed for him to leave his seat, but declined to comment for the Politico report.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is so far the lone Democratic member of the Senate openly second-guessing Franken’s decision to step down. Manchin, who urged Franken not to resign in the first place, told Politico that the pressure that was put on Franken was “the most hypocritical thing I’ve ever seen done to a human being. To “have enough guts to sit on the floor, watch him give his speech and go over and hug him?” Manchin continued. “That’s hypocrisy at the highest level I’ve ever seen in my life. Made me sick.”
Are there any women who support Franken retaining his Senate seat? Zephyr Teachout, an author and law professor at Fordham University, wrote an Op-Ed in The New York Times last week saying that she isn’t convinced Franken should’ve quit. What do you think? Was Franken’s resignation premature? Vote in our poll below.
But in terms of women actually in government who support Franken staying on, well, they may be harder to find. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who led the charge against Franken, appears to not be sympathetic to rethinking Franken’s decision. “He was entitled to a process, but he was not entitled to my silence,’” a source who has spoken with Gillibrand told Politico the senator has said. But Politico found one woman, a retired state Supreme Court judge in New York, who believes Franken got a raw deal, and has actually started a group on Facebook that consists of feminists advocating for him to remain.
Read the full story at Politico.