Homeboys Franken, Ornstein, Friedman

What do Al Franken, Norman Ornstein, Thomas Friedman and Joel and Ethan Coen have in common?


What do Al Franken, the comic and Senate candidate; Norman Ornstein, the "King of Quotes"; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas Friedman; and Joel and Ethan Coen, Oscar winners, have in common? They're all homeboys from the same Minnesota "incubator" town, St. Louis Park. Why "incubator"? Because of the convergence of talents the town of 43,000 has produced. Says Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research: "People emphasized education and engagement in the world around us, which just provided a kind of fertile background." Ornstein didn't meet Franken until their paths crossed at a reception at the Democratic convention in 1988. Franken, the former Saturday Night Live star, sought out Ornstein and confessed he was a c-span junkie. Ornstein's a big fan of Saturday Night Live. They've become close friends.