Senate colleagues expecting humor from funnyman and freshman lawmaker Al Franken have gotten just the opposite, though insiders say the Minnesota senator is getting into the groove and loosening up a bit. Since taking office last year, Franken has snapped at administration officials, Joe Lieberman, and Republican legislators. Now, he’s the model of bipartisanship with numerous across-the-aisle bills, and he’s even making jokes.
“At the beginning, he was trying not to” be funny, Mary Landrieu tells the Washington Post. “But you can't help who you actually are.” One observer thinks that was the problem. “Keeping that huge part of his personality bottled up for so long may have caused some of these eruptions.” Now, he seems well-liked. He’s even been forgiven by John McCain, who called him out when he cut off Lieberman’s comments. Franken “did tell me he had been instructed not to let any speaker go over,” McCain says. “So I said, 'Okay, fine.’”