al-franken.JPGIt’s now official: Al Franken, the one time Saturday Night Live comic best known for creating the character “Stuart Smalley”, announced today he will make a run for Republican incumbent Norm Coleman’s U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota. Franken did so on the last day of his show on the liberal radio network Air America. “Minnesotans have a right to be skeptical about whether I’m ready for this challenge, and to wonder how seriously I would take the responsibility that I’m asking you to give me,” said Franken, who’s also a best-selling political author. “I want you to know: Nothing means more to me than making government work better for the working families of this state, and over the next 20 months, I look forward to proving to you that I take these issues seriously.” He’s expected to be challenged by several other Democrats. I’ve listened to his radio show regularly since its inception, and I’ve gotta say that Franken’s command of the issues has grown exponentially week by week, month by month thanks to guests on his show like wonk Norm Ornstein. He’s going to make a compelling candidate and give the race a national profile. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I don’t understand why Hollywood talent who are Democrats don’t want to run, don’t want to walk, don’t want to even get their foot in the door for political office. What’s stopping them? Stop being cowards, people.