Franken is confirmed for much-debated Senate seat

Published 10:17 am Wednesday, July 8, 2009

In March, Sen. John Cornyn insisted that litigation in the disputed U.S. Senate election in Minnesota could take ‘‘years’’ to complete. The Texas Republican had in mind thwarting Al Franken’s bid to unseat Norm Coleman. Thankfully, the resolution merely took seven months, not even the longest such tangle in the Senate’s history. (The 1974 New Hampshire race reached its conclusion in 10 months.)

… On Tuesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously sided with the Democrat, confirming his victory by 312 votes — out of 2.9 million cast.

Much has been made about Democrats now having 60 votes in their camp, enough to halt opposition filibusters. Frankly, the advantage appears overblown, if simply because so many Democrats travel their own path. Hard to imagine Arlen Specter, Ben Nelson or a handful others doing as they are told.

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More intriguing will be the presence of a comedian in the chamber. Not that senators aren’t laughable from time to time.

Franken received high marks for making the transition from arch critic of Rush Limbaugh to a candidate with a subtle feel for the issues. No doubt he will contribute to the debate.

Most refreshing will be his gift for not taking things too seriously, a trait often lacking among his new colleagues.

Akron Beacon Journal