Our view: Finally, full representation for Minnesota
Late this morning, Minnesota will once again enjoy its full, constitutionally assured representation in Washington. Al Franken, a professional comedian turned political pundit turned politician, will be led by former Vice President Walter Mondale...
Late this morning, Minnesota will once again enjoy its full, constitutionally assured representation in Washington.
Al Franken, a professional comedian turned political pundit turned politician, will be led by former Vice President Walter Mondale and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., into the Senate chambers. At 11:15 a.m., Vice President Joe Biden will swear Franken in as Minnesota's newest U.S. senator.
The moment will come more than eight months after a razor-thin election, a raucous recount, a three-judge trial, a ruling from the five-member State Canvassing Board and, last week, a decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The end of Minnesota's longest-ever election contest also will come after a gracious concession from Republican incumbent Norm Coleman, who recognized that more litigation would further divide a state in need of unity.
"It's about time," a Fourth of July paradegoer shouted Saturday in Aurora, referring to Franken's victory.
"Now get to work," jeered another, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, among the throng of media covering Franken's holiday on the Iron Range.
Getting to work may pose challenging for the one-time "Saturday Night Live" writer and star. Washington, D.C., is a town full of strong egos and intense media scrutiny. The transition to elected leader for entertainers, athletes and other celebs "can be a bit dicey," as USA Today reported. It quoted the American Enterprise Institute's Norman Ornstein: "You can have any mistakes or non-mistakes magnified."
The News Tribune editorial board didn't endorse Franken in his bid to unseat Coleman. But we have little doubt -- after his decades of being grilled publicly and after more than a year of campaigning and nearly another waiting to see if he won -- that Franken is more than ready for the challenges ahead. As his presence on the Iron Range over the weekend showed, he's not likely to soon forget from where he came.
We wish him well. Not because he's the 60th Democratic senator, but because he is, in his words, "the second senator from the state of Minnesota." May Franken's term be worth the wait.