Franken starts hiring senate staff even though he isn't certified


Al Franken might not be a real senator yet, but he's sure playing one quite well. This morning, his campaign announced his pick for his Minnesota state director. That's of course when he's actually an elected representative in need of staff members.

Franken (who holds strong to his "Sen.-elect" title) picked Alana Petersen for the state director position. She has worked for Rep. Jim Oberstar for the last five years. \

Too soon or does Franken need to make up for lost time?

"Drawing on her wealth of experience and her ability to reach out to every constituency in Minnesota, when I have the privilege of being certified, she'll work with me to ensure that we hit the ground running on Day One," Franken said in the statement.

Petersen graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris. She was Oberstar's political director and director of field operations and currently lives outside of Pine City.

Franken told Minnesota Public Radio that he can't continue to wait for Norm Coleman's appeals to finish before he starts preparing for office in Washington.

Franken said despite Republican Norm Coleman's expected state Supreme Court appeal, he expects to eventually be seated in the Senate. He said he needs to assemble a staff so he's ready.

"It's a little difficult because we're still in a little bit of a legal limbo but we, again, I don't want to be presumptuous but I feel like it's irresponsible not to get a jump on this," Franken said.