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My favorite Senate race this year will be in Minnesota, where one of my favorite comedians and now politicians, announced today that he will be taking on turncoat Republican Norm Coleman. Coleman used to be a Democrat who switched parties and has turned seriously conservative since he beat Walter Mondale in 2002 after Senator Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash in October 2002.

Wellstone was a great man, who believed passionately in progressive values, and was quite inspirational right up to death. Coleman's tenure in the Senate has been dissimilarly unremarkable, with him taking a back seat to other Republican Senators and voting the White House agenda 90% of the time since he's been in the Senate. This coming from a guy who only took 49.5% of the vote in 2002 after his opponent died and a washed-up former Vice President ran with only two weeks to campaign. Bush lost Minnesota, which has the record of being the longest-standing Democratic state in the nation, by more than five points in 2004. Minnesota hasn't voted for a Republican for President since the 1972 Nixon landslide. Amy Klobuchar cleaned up in 2006, beating GOP poster boy Mark Kennedy by 22 points.

People say Franken can't win, but he is extremely intelligent (he went to Harvard), grew up in Minnesota (something Norm Coleman did not do, he grew up in New York), and will be able to raise boatloads of cash. Franken connects with Minnesotans who have a quirky Midwestern populist streak, and will be formidable.

Watch this video and I think you'll understand why I think that Franken will be the next Senator from Minnesota.


leaveonlyfootprints said...

I agree - I've been hoping he would run. Norm Coleman is a disgrace to Wellstone's legacy. I think it's good that Al Franken addresses the "seriousness" concerns, because those will exist, but I absolutely think he can win.

Additionally, that Harvard degree is in Government!