Al Franken should take a seat with someone about the recent poll numbers that came out of Quinnipiac University.
It says that here in Minnesota, the man heading the Democratic ticket, Barack Obama, is up by 17 percentage points while Franken is losing his Minnesota Senate race by 10 percentage points.
Not so good. Franken needs counsel, someone who can relate.
He needs a coffee... maybe a lunch... perhaps an all-night bull session with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Why just nine years ago, it was Clinton trying to break into the Senate. Hillary soft-launched her bid n New York on the farm of then-Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Of course,she had to move into the state. She held a listening tour. Then found out Rudy Giuliani would oppose her. Then she learned he wouldn't. Then she got a little-known congressman named Rick Lazio as her foil.
And through it all, Ms. Clinton had one undeniable fact - people knew her and had their minds made up about her. And there were those who were never, ever going to vote for her. Plenty.
No name-recognition building needed for a sitting First Lady. So she spent her considerable campaign money on two things: Maintaining her appeal to those who liked her ... and trying to attract the meager few who were still on the fence.
Clinton spent plenty of time in Upstate New York (read, places outside of the Big Apple). She embarked on trying to show she was no doctrinaire liberal hell-bent on socialized medicine and unwilling to hear from Republicans. No, she would get things done... and do it by working across the aisle.
And it wasn't going to be easy. People forget that when Giuliani was the Republican candidate it was a nip-and-tuck affair. And that was before Rudy became "America's Mayor." Clinton got a break when Giuliani stepped away and a second one when the clearly not-ready-for-prime-time Lazio entered the race.
She won by winning over the more conservative hearts of those outside on NYC, at least as many as could be swayed. It was a remake of sorts.
Franken has clear name recognition. And he clearly has many more people in his state who have made up their mind about him. The poll shows that nearly one in five Democrats jump the aisle and go with Republican Norm Coleman. Can they be swayed?
Franken better find out. He has money - just as Clinton did. What should he do with it. Clinton would probably tell him -- shore up the base. And then remake yourself to appeal to those on the fence.
Clinton could probably tell him what her strategy was to get the centrist, the fence-sitters -- talk about working to get things done. Coleman's already doing that, so Franken's climb might be steep.
And maybe the senator from New York could talk about learning from her own recent strategy misfire. In her 2008 presidential run, she rode the experience horse. And Clinton was overtaken by Obama's message of change by comity.
She could relate that recent lesson, if Al would just pull up a chair at a table with Hillary.
But hurry, Al, get on the former first lady's calendar, before it's too late.