TIME’s Sophia Yan was there in the Senate Chamber today for the swearing in of Democrat #60. She reports:
Former-comedian-turned-Senator Al Franken was officially sworn into office
this afternoon to a packed Senate gallery, 246 days after Election Day.
“It was Al who told me that the third year of his campaign would be best,”
said fellow Minnesota’s senior Senator Amy Klobuchar, introducing Franken to his new colleagues. “He was right.”
Franken had donned a bright blue tie and his widest grin for the big day, a
toothy smile that stretched further after Vice President Joe Biden slapped
his back and offered a hearty welcome to the Hill. Applause echoed for
minutes on end as onlookers congratulated Congress’s newest face. Despite
the crowd, Franken caught his wife, Franni’s eye and the two shared a
knowing look across the chamber.
Though Franken’s known as the coveted 60th Democratic vote, giving his party the number it takes to work its will against a Republican filibuster, he once again insisted: “I want the people of Minnesota to know that I am ready to work for all of you – that I am committed to be a voice for all Minnesotans in the United States Senate.”
“He’s ready for this job,” said former Vice President (and Minnesota Senator) Walter Mondale. “He’s going to be a serious senator.”