Franken Declares Victory

Go Al! Via TPM:

As someone who defended Norm Coleman's (and before that, Al Franken's) right to avail himself of all legal options to be sure that he did not win, I think it is time to acknowledge Franken's victory. Coleman must know now he has lost. He has no path to victory now. For the sake of Minnesota, he should concede.

Speaking for me only

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    Al is awesome (5.00 / 9) (#6)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:17:51 PM EST
    This has got to be my favorite victory this year.

    Me too (5.00 / 6) (#12)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:28:32 PM EST
    I think he is going to be so great. He knows how to put an argument together. Let him loose on the Sunday shows. They will be expecting a comedian and get the most articulate porgressive out there.

    Whoa... (none / 0) (#56)
    by Exeter on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 12:34:03 AM EST
    I'm glad he won, but he's already annoying me; )

    Captures Coleman to a T (none / 0) (#63)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 11:35:01 AM EST
    but I also keep seeing smarmy Stuart Smalley when I see Franken.  Ah well, he's smart enough and he's good enough and gosh darn it, 225 more Minnesotans like him than like Coleman.  I suspect that is not the solid affirmation that Franken sought at the polls.

    He does seem to be a fast learner, so I hope that he rises to the level of the great Senators from Minnesota of yore . . . before it became the state that elected the likes of Ventura, Pawlenty, and -- yes -- Coleman.  (Btw, the interesting question has arisen of whether the speedy resolution to this, if Coleman continues his legal contest, is for Franken to simply be appointed.  By a Repub governor?  Uh, not likely.  Also probably not legal, as there was an election?  What a mess, and at a time when we need Congress to get to major economic issues as well as to cleaning up the legal mess left by Bush, the Patriot Act, FISA, etc.)


    I love Frankin politically (none / 0) (#64)
    by Exeter on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 05:29:15 PM EST
    and the guy even makes me laugh occasionally, but he often see to drone on and on in such a way that it seems like he is interested in making everyone aware of how smart he is rather than pushing his point forward.  

    Nicely done Al (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:26:03 PM EST
    I admire how he has conducted himself throughout the recount process as well. Actually, Coleman as well. Very well done by both of them.

    The MN Supreme Ct has spoken multiple times. I think a provisional seating is in order while the rest of the legal process plays out.  I hope Coleman concedes though.

    Dems better get cogent talking points in order though for those who will inevitably compare this to the Burris situation.  Yeah, I used Dems and 'cogent talking points' in the same sentences. A girl can dream.

    Personally, I think he's a supercilious, (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:31:36 PM EST
    sanctimonious, blowhard. And only very occasionally witty.

    But hey, they counted the ballots and he won.

    End of story.

    He's going to ask for Coleman's help. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:32:29 PM EST

    I know that Pols will be Pols, but this is absurd comedy.

    Now we learn, via Franken, that Coleman worked hard for Minnesota and for the country. During the election, Coleman was a crook, but now...


    How fast a relatively normal citizen gets converted.
    Is it really impossible in our country for someone like Franken to say, without referring to a script, "I'm glad I finally beat the S.O.B."

    I also noticed that Franken alluded to the Israel-Gaza war and mentioned the economy - but not the war in Iraq.

    Wrong BTD (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Slado on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 08:59:39 PM EST
    Al will probably wind up winning but Norm has plenty of reasons to continue

    Powerline points out according to Minnesota Law that there is a third state of finishing an election officially and that is the contest phase.

    When that is over the election will be over.

    No one can argue that with this close of an election "Every vote should be counted"  I would only argue no votes should be counted twice.

    What am I missing other then you think it's over so that means Norm should concede.

    Again Al will probably win but it's going to be close in the end either way.  What's the rush?

    His arguments do not provide him (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:05:26 PM EST
    enough votes to change the result.

    The counting of the 600 absentee ballots is frivolous.

    If it was within 130, I would say you have a point. It is not within that margin.


    Maybe (1.00 / 0) (#38)
    by Slado on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:07:30 PM EST
    but if he can get another issue brought up other then just the ballots he has a chance.

    Slim as it is he should keep fighting and so should Al.  

    May the best, that's too strong a word, man win.


    It's over (none / 0) (#47)
    by TomStewart on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 10:29:55 PM EST
    Coleman lost. The fact that Powerline is feeding into Coleman's fantasies is no surprise, but that doesn't make it right. Coleman's arguments have been thrown out by the courts, and will continue to be. They have little to no merit, and serve to only delay the inevitable. If he truly wanted to serve the people of Minn, he would step aside and run again another day.

    And the people of Minnesota... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 11:01:47 PM EST
    ...are smart enough understand what is going on if he continues to fight and drag this out.  The longer he holds out, the more he hurts his future chances.  

    This kind of vain personal drama does not mesh well with "Minnesota Nice".


    Well, half of the voters, anyway (none / 0) (#55)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 12:29:24 AM EST
    plus 225 or so more.

    Incorrect. n/t (none / 0) (#62)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 10:32:11 AM EST
    Aren't the 600 ballots (none / 0) (#51)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 11:25:17 PM EST
    ballots the Coleman camp rejected in this last round?

    Minnesota's seniority could be in the balance (none / 0) (#32)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:01:47 PM EST
    but that's a pretty minor concern.

    Coleman (none / 0) (#34)
    by WS on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:03:31 PM EST
    is only contesting 120 duplicate ballots.  Even if you give him that, he loses.  

    He's also contesting the 133 ballots that went missing but were recorded on the machine in a Minneapolis precinct that gave Franken net 46 votes, and even if you give Coleman that + his duplicate ballots fairy tale, Coleman still loses.  


    Read the link (none / 0) (#37)
    by Slado on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:05:57 PM EST
    there are more ballots then you state in play and also the whole questioning of which ballots to be counted is in question.

    Either way if you where Norm or if Norm was a democrat this post wouldn't even be up.

    Again, Al will probably win but Norm is under no obligation to walk away.


    Powerline has zero credibility (none / 0) (#49)
    by eric on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 11:20:39 PM EST
    They are simply lying, Republican hacks.  Take, for example, this beauty:
    Bush never gets sloppy when he is speaking publicly. He chooses his words with care and precision, which is why his style sometimes seems halting. In the eight years he has been President, it is remarkable how few gaffes or verbal blunders he has committed. If Obama doesn't raise his standards, he will exceed Bush's total before he is inaugurated.

    In short, Powerline is lying.  They are making stuff up in exactly the same way that they write that Bush doesn't make verbal gaffes.  It is beyond ridiculous.


    Whoever wrote that (none / 0) (#50)
    by nycstray on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 11:23:17 PM EST
    has seriously been out to lunch the past eight years. Wow.

    Thats, um um like (none / 0) (#60)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 05:45:50 AM EST
    um right. ya know?

    It's ridiculous (none / 0) (#65)
    by ChrisO on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:51:06 PM EST
    but it's an opinion. Someone's not a "liar" just because they have a different opinion than yours.

    I read Franken's books (5.00 / 6) (#45)
    by Repack Rider on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 10:04:32 PM EST
    and I listened to his radio show.  He follows politics a lot more closely than Caroline Kennedy, and he campaigned for the job in a contested election.

    He is a Harvard graduate.  He called Bill O'Reilly a liar to his face.  He will get on all the Sunday talk shows and he will kick ass.

    Al Franken is uniquely qualified, and certainly more than the other guy.

    This whole thing makes me uneasy (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by ChrisO on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 08:03:33 PM EST
    I'm thrilled that Franken won, but a lot of the arguments against Coleman sound awfully like the drumbeat against Hillary near the end. How many times did we hear "do the math" and "why doesn't he/she quit"? I'm confident Franken will prevail. But I think if Coleman thinks it's worth taking to court, then he should do it.

    I can't help but think that if the situations were reversed, a lot of progressives (including me) would be talking about the best arguments for Franken to use when he goes to court.

    Ha! Another funny Minnesotan (none / 0) (#1)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:02:50 PM EST
    comments at the Strib that:

    I don't understand why people are so appalled that we elected a professional comedian -- the Senate's been filled with amateurs for years.  Like it really needs another lawyer

    (Of course, Franken is the winner but still can't be certified as such, since Coleman says he will sue -- and let it be said that if his grounds for appeal were upheld by the high court, he could thread the needle to win.  But let it also be said that the court has consistently sided with Franken.  Whatevuh, the fun and games continue will continue . . . as will cause for more funnies.)

    No needle to thread anymore (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:24:38 PM EST
    He has no chance at all.

    that is why he should concede.


    Sure, there is. All Coleman needs (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Cream City on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 08:18:04 PM EST
    is an entirely new state supreme court.

    But let it be said that the state supreme court justice on the state canvassing board considers the process an unholy mess, and the state secretary of state -- in Franken's own party -- calls it "heartbreaking" that so many voters' ballots were not counted.  I gather that Jimmy Carter himself might have had some concerns, were he monitoring the Minnesota election.  Clearly, there is work to do there to clean up the process; I suspect some laws will be amended.  

    And considering that it's one of the better states, and with the best turnout of all states, what does that say about the mess of the voting process in the rest of the country?  Just because it worked for liberals this time is not at all reassuring to me. . . .


    That was a funny comment (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Lil on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 08:58:16 PM EST
    Interestingly I never thought Franken was that funny, but I did think he was very smart and funny in a clever, witty kind of way, as opposed to hysterical. Loved the book.

    From what I saw, (none / 0) (#2)
    by Lil on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:03:27 PM EST
    I think Franken did a good job with this announcement. I'm very happy and I think Coleman may concede in a few days. I don't think he wants to end up looking foolish, but may need some time to lick his wounds.

    If Franken is qualified (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:05:48 PM EST
    (must be, he got elected), why isn't Caroline Kennedy (no sense of humor?)?

    You said it... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by denise k on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:20:29 PM EST
    She hasn't stood for election.  I think if she does, she could very well win, but at this point the difference between Franken and Kennedy is that Franken has run for the office and Kennedy has not.

    Gotta tell ya (5.00 / 14) (#8)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:23:07 PM EST
    Setting aside the difference between an election and an appointment, if I watched Caroline Kennedy discuss policy issues and progressive politics with the same fluency I've seen from Al Franken, I wouldn't have the slightest hesitation.  I never cared about Franken's formal resume because it was clear to me that he simply "gets it."

    Ever here Kennedy. . . (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:23:21 PM EST
    tell a fart joke?

    I thought not.


    Correct (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 08:44:00 PM EST
    It is ok for a white guy to run without anyone questioning his qualifications and experience, but when a woman (or AA) runs it is a totally different story.

    Whatever you want to say about Franken being more entertaining, does not predict that he will be a better senator than kennedy.

    Helen Thomas, remember her, chimes in:

    there is no question that Kennedy is to the manor born and financially well off. But she also bears the burden -- or is it the opportunity? -- of carrying on her family's tradition of public service.

    There is some obvious resentment that her celebrity status has given her the upper hand. But a lot of rich and famous men have put their money and name recognition to work in winning public office, and their ambitions are not seriously questioned. Look at California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    In fact, wealthy and successful men often never adequately explain why they are running.

    But in the U.S., political aspirations of women are still deeply scrutinized and criticized.

    Kennedy grew up in a family --except for Jackie-- that loved politics. Why shouldn't she try to pick up the torch?



    The key is . . . (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Spamlet on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 08:59:54 PM EST
    wealthy and successful men often never adequately explain why they are running

     . . . "why they running." Not "why they are being appointed."

    I would have no problem with Caroline Kennedy as a candidate. I greatly admire Kennedy and her family. If the voters of New York decide that they want a dynasty, then so be it. My opinion is that the governor of New York should not appoint someone merely by virtue of his or her belonging to a dynastic family.


    Agree (none / 0) (#41)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:13:14 PM EST
    My opinion is that the governor of New York should not appoint someone merely by virtue of his or her belonging to a dynastic family.

    No one, save her detractors are saying that Kennedy is nothing but a name and Paterson would be stupid to base his appointment on someone only because they were famous.

    Do you think Paterson is not qualified to chose the person he thinks is best for NY? Besides he has not chosen anyone yet.

    I am fine with whoever he picks. Isreal, Malony, et al,  although I would complain about Cuomo.

    I do not think Paterson will make a mistake on this.


    I actually think (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Spamlet on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:54:57 PM EST
    that Caroline Kennedy would be a fine senator. The issue for me is one of process.

    She perhaps could be (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by nycstray on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 10:06:21 PM EST
    but 2 campaigns in 4yrs and on the job training? I don't see her having a chance to even be a decent senator, much less fine one, with that looming and zip for experience.

    actually, it matters (none / 0) (#53)
    by cpinva on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 12:02:14 AM EST
    I actually think

    not a whit what you think, or don't, about appointing ms. kennedy to the currently vacant seat of sen. clinton. the only person who's thinking on the subject matters at all is ny gov. patterson's, per the ny state constitution.

    his is the only opinion, on the face of the planet, that matters. clearly, she's a smart lady, well educated, etc. how that would translate to the public arena remains to be seen, if, in fact, she's appointed.

    as for her public speaking ability, that's something that can be worked on. she has the necessary tools, just needs some good coaching and practice.

    should she be appointed, the good citizens of ny will have the opportunity, in short order, to express their opinion on the job she does, in the fall of 2010.


    That's all true (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 12:34:24 AM EST
    and it's equally true of virtually every other decision made by our elected officials, about anything.  But people keep weighing in for some reason.

    Plenty of people in MN (5.00 / 5) (#33)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:03:29 PM EST
    questioned Franken's experience and qualifications (did you follow the campaign?)  and a smidgen over half of them voted for him.

    Of course Caroline or anyone else should not get any more scrutiny, but they sure should not get less.


    Actually, a little over 40% (none / 0) (#35)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:04:32 PM EST
    But then, the other guy did even worse. . .

    Actually, Ck is the problem here (5.00 / 8) (#44)
    by nycstray on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 10:02:25 PM EST
    not her gender. She opened her mouth and nothing came out. If she had been able to speak articulately on why she was running and some issues, showed some passion for the position, well, maybe we wouldn't be scrutinizing her so closely. She also hasn't done much in the way of, um, working over the years or used her obvious influence publicly for causes/public service. For example, she says she was "inspired by 9/11", and she's done . . . ?

    I honestly wonder if she's up for the grind of the next few years. And it's not because the gender. It's because of the person.


    The latest polling on CK (5.00 / 4) (#52)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 11:31:23 PM EST
    in NY has her numbers dropping abysmally this week.  She has failed to win over New Yorkers. It remains to be seen what effect this all has on the appointment.  I think Paterson is smart not to declare himself until Hillary is sworn in as SoS & the position is officially open.

    Her numbers are basically tanking (5.00 / 4) (#54)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 12:04:34 AM EST
    since her "campaign" started. I think for most it started out with name and family history recognition, but nobody really knew who she was and her numbers were more favorable. She really should have prepped more or something.I was actually surprised by her "performance" and I'm sure I'm not alone. One thing to be jumping in on name and family, quite another to come off so unprepared.

    Boy, that's a stretch. (none / 0) (#66)
    by ChrisO on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 07:57:13 PM EST
    Al Franken has been on the radio and written books about every conceivable policy. His opinions on practically everything are very well known. That's what makes him more qualified than CK.

    When Franken announced he was running, were progressives shocked that comedian was running? No, because many people know Franken as an author and policy wonk. He's done everything but comedy for quite a while now.


    Write To Helen Thomas (none / 0) (#68)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 10:48:10 PM EST
    Perhaps you could convince her that she is mistaken. I think she is spot on. It is a double standard.

    There is nothing to suggest that Franken would perform better as a Senator than Kennedy just because he is a successful actor/comedian.


    Nice way to igore everything I wrote (none / 0) (#69)
    by ChrisO on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 11:19:27 PM EST
    Apparently all you have to offer is Helen Thomas's opinion. Referring to Franken as simply an "actor/comedian" wilfully ignores vast sections of his much more relevant experience. The fact is, we still know very little about where CK stands on issues, and what we do know comes from a series of hurried pronouncements. I happen to not support CK, ut I recognize that there are arguments in her favor. Saying her qualifications are identical to Franken's to make a point about sexism is rather tortured logic, however.

    Do you still think provisional seating... (none / 0) (#4)
    by magster on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:06:41 PM EST
    ...of Franken is still politically absurd?  

    The increase in the lead from 49 to 225 and Coleman going 0 for 3 in front of the Minnesota Supreme Court makes me more comfortable with the provisional seating.

    Coleman's priorities might change (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:17:14 PM EST
    if he needs to use campaign funds for some other legal defense purpose, as is rumored.

    Wanna bet his contributions are going to dry up right about now?


    What are the other legal defense (none / 0) (#24)
    by sallywally on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 08:45:38 PM EST

    Supposedly some kind of FBI investigation (none / 0) (#25)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 08:49:20 PM EST
    I haven't read too closely, and there might be no "there" there.

    Here (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 08:58:05 PM EST
    Thanks! n/t. (none / 0) (#42)
    by sallywally on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:20:44 PM EST
    It would seem that... (none / 0) (#61)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 10:18:25 AM EST
    ...old Norm would have made a great politician--in Alaska.  He would fit right in the Corrupt Old Boys Club up there...

    Reid going to try to seat Franken tomorrow (none / 0) (#14)
    by magster on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:32:09 PM EST
    Roll Call

    I don't have a subscription, so I can only see the Roll Call blurb.  Is the blurb an accurate reflection of what Reid is going to do tomorrow?

    If so, I doubt Reid would do this if he thought he couldn't beat a filibuster.


    TPM says Roll Call wrong (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by magster on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:34:24 PM EST
    I'm having a great conversation with myself.

    That's my MO here (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:52:18 PM EST
    Right wing Spinning (none / 0) (#16)
    by Rashomon66 on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:33:42 PM EST
    The GOP had no problem with Bush in 2000 in Florida. They called Gore a sore loser. Will they take their own advice and step aside? I look for them to drag this thing on for a while.

    If the process in FL had happened like this (5.00 / 5) (#18)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 07:37:36 PM EST
    Gore would have been the winner.

    If the media had treated Al Franken... (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by EL seattle on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 08:32:38 PM EST
    ... the way they treated Gore in 2000, this election wouldn't have gotten to this stage.  Franken wouldn't have had a chance.

    (I think.)


    Possibly Franken would've fought back (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by sallywally on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 08:49:20 PM EST
    more than Gore did, though.

    Experience is highly over rated (none / 0) (#21)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 08:28:34 PM EST
    Experience doesn't matter. If they have experience, they're jaded "insiders". It's a no win situation. Franken comes off as someone who has a sincere belief in the Constitution and the desire for government to succeed for the people. Two attributes that I find more impressive than all of McConnel's years of experience.

    59!!!! (none / 0) (#29)
    by WS on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 08:59:13 PM EST
    Finally, we got our 59th Senate seats.  I remember back on the day after election day when we were losing in OR, AK, and MN and I was scared we were only going to get only 56.  But all the votes weren't counted yet and now they are.  In the end, the good guys won!

    For the law geeks (none / 0) (#39)
    by Steve M on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:10:27 PM EST
    I posted a diary analyzing Minnesota law and whether Franken is likely to get his certificate of election at this point, assuming Coleman wants to continue challenging the recount in court.  If you want to know the answer, you'll have to click the link!

    All Franken needs now is (none / 0) (#40)
    by SOS on Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 09:11:59 PM EST

    Still beats The Coal Man