In Joe Biden’s World, Al Franken Is A “Leading Legal Scholar”

The Vice-President’s tendency toward hyperbole is getting just a little ridiculous:

Vice President Joe Biden described former Saturday Night Live comedian, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., as a “leading legal scholar,” presumably in the Senate, today.

“He has been one of the leading legal scholars,” Biden said of Franken today, according to the pool report.

Jonathan Turley comments:

Franken is clearly smart and has proven a leader on many issues. However, Biden’s tendency to use superlatives where mere adjectives would do has become rather pathological.


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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. JKB says:

    Well, has he published more scholarly works that Obama?

    Let’s see, Obama is at zero, so it’s possible.

  2. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Dude, in Joe Biden’s world Marcel Marceau was a great orator, Eva Mendes is a great actress, Roseanne Barr is a great singer, Eliot Spitzer and Mark Sanford were husbands of the year, and Terra Nova was a hit TV show.

  3. Vast Variety says:

    Terra Nova wasn’t a hit?


    I really wish they would replace Biden. I know it won’t happen but I can dream.

  4. Rob in CT says:

    Hyperbole is Joe’s middle name. He really is embarrassing. It’s amazing how poor the 2008 VP picks were.

  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @Vast Variety: I’m absolutely amazed that they haven’t replaced Biden. Does not compute.

  6. Gustopher says:

    I think he’s actually just insulting the rest of the senate, and justifiably so.

  7. @Gustopher:

    There is dust on the desk in the Senate chamber Ithat I would consider a better “legal scholar” than Stuart Smalley.

  8. Tillman says:

    Biden makes great tabloid fodder and is at least an entertaining goof in public.

    Compared to Cheney, though, I prefer embarassment.

  9. Brummagem Joe says:

    Doug, you do get excited about the most trivial things.

  10. Why can’t Al Franken be a leading legal scholar? He’s good enough, he’s funny enough, and gosh darn it, people like him!

  11. Hey Norm says:

    “…has become…”

    It has always been so.

  12. Liberal Capitalist says:

    He attended Harvard College and graduated with an A.B. cum laude in 1973 in political science.

    (Source: Wikipedia)

    So… not too shabby for a funny guy, but not a legal scholar.

    Maybe work experience for the last 4 years counts for something?

  13. James Joyner says:

    I’m reminded of another great quote from a couple decades back:

    “As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist, he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational art, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier. Other than that he’s a great military man-I want you to know that.” -General H. Norman Schwarzkopf 1991

  14. Jenos Idanian says:

    I think it’s wrong to keep bringing up all the times Joe Biden says something stupid. It’s “dog bites man.”

    Save the postings for when he does something non-stupid. That would be real news.

  15. @Jenos Idanian:

    Save the postings for when he does something non-stupid.

    Well, he was right about what we should have done in Afghanistan.

  16. PogueMahone says:

    Is Al Franken a fan of broccoli? ‘Cause if he is, he might be qualified to sit on today’s SCOTUS.

    I’ve read a log of dubious legal reasoning from historical cases, some more modern than others, that have me shaking my head at accepted “legal scholars”.

    So why not?

  17. Ben says:

    Well at least he didn’t shoot someone in the face. And he’s not even our dumbest VP in my lifetime. And he wasn’t even the dumbest VP nomination in 2008. However, yes, those are all damning faint praise, and yes, he is a jackass.

  18. An Interested Party says:

    @PogueMahone: Indeed…I have seen none of Franken’s musings that sound as foolish as Scalia’s broccoli argument…of course, Scalia may have simply been grasping for whatever argument he could to cover his partisanship, after all, he traveled down that same road in Bush v. Gore