• Nearly a year after he resigned from his U.S. Senate seat amid sexual misconduct allegations, Al Franken is testing whether he can make a comeback in the #MeToo era. The former Saturday Night Live funnyman released a podcast on health care this week, just days after a Thanksgiving Day Facebook post in which he mused how much he missed "being in the fight every day." "When I left the Senate I said I was giving up my seat but not my voice, and after the midterm elections I thought I'd start experimenting with ways to make my voice heard," Franken said as he opened the podcast. He ended by saying: "Maybe I'll do another one, I don't know." Franken was a safe bet for re-election before a radio host last year accused him of forcibly kissing her during a USO tour in the Middle East in 2006, and circulated a photo in which he can be seen pretending to grope her breasts. That was followed by allegations from several women that he groped them while posing for photos, prompting him to resign in January this year. While Franken, 67, was among the first politicians who fell amid the rise of the #MeToo movement, many liberal activists and donors nationally have argued that Franken was treated too harshly. Comedian Bill Maher recently argued on his HBO show Real Time that, "We can have #MeToo and Al Franken. They're not mutually exclusive. It's time to get Al off the bench so he could come back to doing what he does better than any other Democrat, taking down right-wing blowhards." Franken, who declined an interview request, hasn't made clear yet exactly how he will seek to become more publicly involved. He said in his Facebook post that he is "certainly not running for anything." Even if he was interested, Minnesota's Senate seats and governorship are locked down for the near future by fellow Democrats.
• Former first lady Michelle Obama's Becoming is selling at a pace rarely seen for a political memoir, or any nonfiction book. Combined hardcover, e-book and audio sales in the U.S. and Canada topped 2 million copies in the first 15 days, Crown Publishing announced Friday. By comparison, former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's memoir Living History needed a month to sell 1 million copies. Former President George W. Bush's Decision Points took several weeks to reach 2 million copies sold. And, former President Bill Clinton's My Life quickly sold 1 million copies but took far longer to hit 2 million. Becoming, which was released Nov. 13, now has 3.4 million hardcover copies in print. The former first lady is in the midst of a promotional tour, with guests including Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon.
A Section on 12/01/2018
Print Headline: Names and faces