(Image: Al Franken for Senate)
Speaking as a long time SNL fan, I think it’s absolutely fabulous to see that the Minnesota State Supreme Court believes Al Franken is good enough and smart enough to represent the state as its junior Senator. Because, doggone it, people like him more than Norm Coleman (by a final margin of 312 votes).
Chris Cillizza notes that despite Franken’s celebrity pedigree (which, as Cillizza points out, helped swell Franken’s coffers throughout the campaign and subsequent legal battle with Coleman), the former writer/comedian cannily avoided the public eye while lawyers tussled–except to play the role of statesman :
When the race ended in a tie, Franken did something very smart; he stayed out of the spotlight. He was rarely seen or heard and when he did pop into public view it was during an occasional visit to Washington when he was huddling with potential colleagues and getting briefed on issues by potential staffers — in short, acting like a senator. He gave Republicans nothing to use to sow doubts about whether he was ready for the office to which he was headed. While Franken’s personal discipline did little to effect the legal outcome, it played a critical part in slowly but surely securing public support behind the idea that not only had he won but that he was ready to be a senator.
Also, many thanks to the beltway bullshit shovellers at Politico for once again picking up the trusty steno pads to help their GOP patrons explain how an historic victory for the Democratic party is–wait for it–actually good news for Republicans (ZOMG NO WAIS!):
Franken’s upcoming seating will give Democrats their biggest majority in the Senate in a generation, ensuring their party holds a 60-40 majority – enough to quash GOP filibusters if they stay united.
And with that, some Republicans see an ironic silver lining – Democrats have nobody else to blame if their agenda falls short even though that will be tough with an ideologically diverse caucus and the absences of Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), who have been sidelined by illnesses. GOP strategists say it will solidify their argument heading into the 2010 elections that electing more Republicans would be a critical check on one-party dominance in Washington.
“The implications of this Senate race are particularly significant because the Democrats will now have 60 votes in the Senate,” said Sen. John Cornyn, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “With their supermajority, the era of excuses and finger-pointing is now over.”
The more things change…(oh teh irony, indeed)