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Why Not Me?: The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency
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Why Not Me?: The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  1,067 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Updated with more on the real race in 2000!

First came Theodore White's The Making of the President, 1960. Then All the President's Men. Now the searing chronicle that will forever change the way we view the man and the office...

Why Not Me?

...chronicles the dramatic rise and dizzying fall of Al Franken, who would become the first Jewish president of the United States. Meet...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 8th 2000 by Delta (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

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High Wycombe Library
An oft hilarious, sometimes scathing satire of the American political system by one of the old writers of Saturday Night Live. Franken knows his subject in great detail, with only some of the pastiche missing the mark, mostly due to the knowledge needed to understand them. Franken knows the political world, so much he is now part of it! ^OJ

If you liked Why Not Me? why not try:
Stupid White Men by Michael Moore
Bushwacked by Molly Ivins & Lou Dubose
Don't Vote by P.J. O'Rourke
Dude, Where's My C...more
Daniel Currie
I listened to the unabridged 5CD version of this book.

I've read some of Al Franken's political books and not really liked them that much. I've also read some of his strictly humor books and enjoyed them quite a lot. This book is a cross between those two styles so it is no surprise I liked it, but didn't love it.

It is set in a fictional (altho foreshadowing) run for the President. There are some great lines, especially when he talks about campaigning in New Hampshire and Iowa, but not enough to...more
Nikki Boisture
Al Franken is better known for his books "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot," and "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them," but this book is by far funnier than either of those. Unlike his other books, this is fiction.

Al decides to run for president, and his platform solely consists of making ATM fees illegal. He's a bumbling idiot, as are his campaigner staffers which includes his brother Otto (aka Dotto Dranken and Blotto Branken), and Dan Haggerty (of Grizzly Adams fame). He also promises and...more
Al Young
By 1999, Franken was beginning to work his way up as a political satirist of note. For his follow-up to Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, his next book was a comedic re-imagining of those Theodore White Making of the President books. Franken beats Al Gore in the primary (by a campaign of fighting ATM fees), and then gets elected. Once elected, he is forced to resign due to strange behaviour and the publishing of his campaign diaries.

Why Not Me has got a lot of good reviews on Amazon, so I could...more
D.E. Varni
If you ever wanted a spoof on presidential elections, this is the book! Go back to the Al Gore/George W. Bush campaign and inject Al Franken as a candidate and all comedic hell breaks loose! This was a comedy from the start in how he manipulated his way into the spotlight and actually wins the election and then fumbles the ball in the presidency. All the actors and comedians and politicians that "cameo" in this novel are lampooned to the best degree possible as they fumble or rage through the st...more
Brigit Zelenak
Former Saturday Night Live comedy writer/actor, Al Franken, is focusing his unique brand of humor on the electoral process, and the results are hilarious. Hypothesizing `Why Not Me?', Franken hits the campaign trail - leaving a path of chaos, hot lesbian coeds and questionable legal practices in his wake as he quests to be the next President Of The United States of America.

Running on a platform based solely on the elimination of ATM fees, Al chronicles his campaign, election, and subsequent 100...more
Robin
Mar 08, 2014 Robin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in comedy or politics
Shelves: favorites
One of the funniest books I've ever read. Infinitely re-readable. Great on audio, too!
Joshua
I picked this book up on November 2 because I wanted to read about the election but I knew that there was nothing I could possibly read that would do any good. A fictional history of Al Franken running for president on a single-issue platform (lower ATM fees) seemed perfect. And it was. It was funny, and I could read the whole thing in a day without having to concentrate very hard, and it kept me away from the internet. Of course, it wasn't very good, except for the hilarious parody of Bob Woodw...more
Chris Hopkins
One of the most laugh out loud funny books I have ever read.
Kaethe
To my delight, Franken has turned out to be a much better politician than most, and certainly better than this satire would have suggested.
Jake Basner
As a now US Senator, this seems ironic.
Ryan
Fantastic book, hilarious and well written.
Susan
Why *not* you? Prescient brilliance by the then-future Senator and former Saturday Night Live star. Love. And it IS sort of non-fiction.
Adam
Mar 05, 2007 Adam rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Franken Fans
Funny, but I prefer his non-fiction stuff. This book tells the fictional (prophetic?) story of Al's run for the Presidency and the short, beleaguered administration to follow. Though the book is entirely hypothetical, it does expose some of the follies involved in the actual process and includes stories involving actual political personae, including the Clintons, Al Gore, Norm Ornstein, and of course, Al's wife Frannie.
Jay Maus
This is the best book Al Franken has ever written, and I'm a big fan of his non-fiction humor-slam-polemics. I first encountered this book on tape, in '99 or so, from the Public Library to take on a long roadtrip. I nearly peed myself laughing at least seven thousand times, and there was not a scene without Otto Franken that didn't make my gut hurt from convulsive humor-reaction.
Mark
Why not Al Franken? Well at least he is running for Senate now. I don't think he is running on the same "No ATM fees" platform though. This is the what-if tale of Al Franken running for president. And frankly, its ridiculously funny. Just read the other reviews. I don't need to go over why this guy is hilarious because everyone before me already told you.
Ellis
The main character wins the presidency based on a platform of getting rid of ATM fees. (Do you think that is weaker than a platform of "a noun, a verb, and 9/11"? [Joe Biden about Rudi Giuliani]) His campaign was partially funded by a phone sex line. This doesn't seem too far off.
Alex
i think this may be the funniest book i've ever read. franken makes up a story of how he runs for president in 2000, and somehow beats al gore in the primary on the way to victory, not without the help of his drunken brother otto and a few other unlikely advisors. stupid, but hilarious.
John
I listened to this on a long cross-country drive. It made the drive go faster. Hard to believe just a few years later Al Franken became an actual US Senator™! Some day I'll have to ask someone from Minnesota how much hay he made of ATM fees during that election cycle :-)
Justin  K. Rivers
A good satire of 1990's political campaigns. It seems a bit dated now, but is still funny. It's a shame though that Franken's book came out before the Gore/Bush election debacle, and rest of the circus surrounding the Bush years. Make's the late 90's seem strangely innocent.
Dan
Hey, Al's running for the Senate this year.
I need to reread this book again. You gotta
love a candidate who's main platform is to
eliminate ATM fees. Al and his fictional
brother are hilarious.

This is some Al's best work.
Go Al! Obama 08. Hillary 16. Al 20.
Julianne Dunn
I found this book ridiculous and hilarious. The first part did seem like something straight from some of our current candidates but the book devolves into more ridiculousness. I definitely laughed out loud on the airplane while I was reading.
Will
Very funny. While Franken's other books are polemics, this one's basically a novel, so I think it ages better as issues and personalities change. I'll note that Jen also thinks it's very funny, and she is pretty apolitical.
Ian
One of the funniest books I've ever read. Al Franken decides to run for president. His primary issue? Eliminating ATM fees! What's even funnier is that a few years after this book came out, Franken was elected to the US Senate!
Margot
The plot of this book is predicated on the idea that Al Franken won the 2000 presidential election. Moderately humorous compared to his other books. It's much funnier when he's dealing with "reality" than complete fiction.
Mary
I like Al Franken, I do, and I think he's doing a great job as a politician. This book however was a bit difficult to get through, I guess it's just not my type of humor...I finished it, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Ross
Read part of this while crashing on a friend's couch in Wash, DC. Now that Franken has officially reclaimed Wellstone's senate seat for the DFL, the big question is: what is he going to do about ATM fees?
Jon Feeley
Apr 23, 2007 Jon Feeley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Politcal types
Al Franken's fictitious run for president on a platform consisting of no atm fees. Hilarious. Definitely a good book to get your hands on seeing as Al is running for senator in Minnesota.
Bebe Burnside
This was an entertaining view of what a Al Franken for President campaign might look like. Of course funny and brilliant at the same time. I enjoyed it very much.
Vinita
So funny....and particular interesting now given his seat in the Senate. I definitely enjoyed the first two-thirds of the book more. Journal entries are hilarious!
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Alan Stuart "Al" Franken is an Emmy Award–winning American comedian, writer, progressive political commentator, and, recently, politician. He gained fame as a writer and a performer for Saturday Night Live, eventually writing and appearing in several films. Since then, Franken has become more known for his political commentary, writing numerous bestselling books and hosting a nationally-syndicated...more
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