A love letter from Washington

How novel is this? A politician sends out an email to his supporters and doesn’t ask for money…he doesn’t ask you to write letters about policy…or to volunteer your time to some campaign. He simply asks you to “remember a funny story about someone you love, smile, and be thankful.”

We heart Al Franken. Thank goodness he’s one of the Minnesota senators now.

This past Saturday, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the night he met Franni, his wife, he emailed all of his supporters basically an open love letter to her, acknowledging that he wouldn’t be where he is today — the United States Congress — without her. Those with a block of ice for a heart might find this a little too precious, or perhaps even inappropriate for a man in public office, but we think it’s comforting to know that at least one politician in Washington is actually a human being. Even better, a human being with a romantic streak. Here’s the letter:

When our daughter Thomasin was in the second grade, her teacher asked each student to write a story about how their parents met. So, she came home and asked me how I met her Mom.

I explained that I was at what was known as a freshman ‘mixer,’ what she knew as a ‘dance,’ during my first year of college. I saw Franni from across the room. She was organizing some girls to leave and I really liked how she was taking charge, which, in hindsight, is not her best quality… Also, she was just beautiful. So I asked her to dance, and we danced. And then I bought her a ginger ale.

After the dance I escorted her back to her dorm and asked her for a date.

Thomasin wrote the story up with stunning accuracy. She told her class, “…my Dad asked my Mom to dance, bought her a drink, and took her home.” Even at a young age, she had a keen grasp of the facts and a real knack for editing.

That night – the first night of the best thing that has ever happened to me – was exactly 40 years ago today. When I was running for the Senate, I used to tell people, “Franni and I are running for the Senate. If we win, I get to be the Senator.” Well, we won. And what I said proved true – I get to be the Senator.

Another thing that’s true is that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of the most amazing woman in the world.

And, as we start the next chapter of our journey together, I wanted to send supporters like you a note. A funny story from long ago in hopes that you might take a moment today, remember a funny story about someone you love, smile, and be thankful.

All the best,


P.S. Happy Anniversary Franni, I love you!