4 Words in Franken's Speech Grab Attention

'In the coming weeks'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2017 2:03 PM CST
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., leaves the Capitol after speaking on the Senate floor, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – Al Franken on Thursday announced that in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations he would resign "in the coming weeks." The Week notes that the phrasing caught some attention online, and NBC News/MSNBC national political correspondent Steve Kornacki touches on one slightly out-there theory on Twitter. "I doubt it for many reasons, but the cynical read would be that 'in the coming weeks' is Franken buying time to see if circumstances somehow change," he tweets (with others on Twitter speculating Franken potentially wants to see the outcome of the Roy Moore-Doug Jones race in Alabama). He notes that "it wouldn't be entirely without precedent: Larry Craig reneged on a resignation announcement in 2007," and Kornacki tweets an article to that end. Though "in Craig's case, his term was up the next year and he just served out his term and didn't run. Franken's seat isn't up till 2020," Kornacki acknowledges.

  • Other words: At CNN, Chris Cillizza is bowled over by a different set of words from Franken's speech. These: "I also think it gave some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that in fact I haven't done. Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember very differently." Cillizza calls it "a remarkable statement" in that Franken both upheld women's right to voice their claims and adamantly stated those claims aren't true. His take: "Franken's speech was defined primarily by his lack of any real apology and the clear bitterness he carries for being pushed out."

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