Hey Obama and McCain - at least you're not Al Franken

Think the presidential campaign is nasty? At least Barack Obama and John McCain don't have to deal with this.

Head up to Minnesota. Only a couple months ago it appeared incumbent Norm Coleman was the safe bet to protect his Senate seat against his opponent, comedian Al Franken. But now, in mid-September, some polls have shown that Coleman and Franken are locked in a tie.

Bring out the attack ads, right?

Well, this one is different. The announcer doesn't claim something that later turns out to be a half-truth -- which we've seen so much on the presidential campaign trail. This commercial just lets the candidate do the talking. Not Norm Coleman, but Al Franken. And what a ride this 30-second spot is.

Called "Angry Al" the commercial opens with wording on the screen asking, "Does Al Franken have the temperament to be US Senator?"

Then the ad launches into a series of profanity-laden temper tantrums of Franken's -- all caught on tape. This is behavior the Coleman campaign says, "...would significantly undercut Al Frankens ability to get anything done for Minnesota."

Of course, the expletives are beeped out, but the viewer gets the message.

If this isn't strong enough, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has put out a similar ad that could be called the NC-17 or "director's cut" version.

The next move is Franken's. His "Saturday Night Live" training gives him plenty of skill in the fast retort.

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