Thursday, July 2, 2009

...And then there were 60

ACTUALLY 60 now.

Nearly eight months after winning more votes than his opponent, Al Franken has officially been certified as the junior senator from Minnesota, following a unanimous ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court. Norm Coleman, who got the most laughs during the recount, despite being the candidate who hasn’t made his living as a comedy writer, finally conceded to Franken on Tuesday. The party of “limited government spending” had poured millions of dollars and lots of bitterness into the prolonged recount effort. According to some news reports Franni Franken, Al’s wife, has had a suitcase packed for months, a la a woman about to give birth, so the two could fly to Washington for a swearing-in ceremony whenever a final ruling was handed down. Said ceremony is expected to happen quickly – potentially this weekend – so Franken can take his seat and the committee assignments that have been saved for him (which rumor has it includes the very busy Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions). No word on what Franni will be wearing.

While some pundits have declared this a huge victory for Democrats, who now theoretically have the votes to block any attempt at a filibuster, it is important to note that a number of Democratic senators have emphasized that they will not rubber stamp the party line – something they have demonstrated on certain key votes. Franken does provide some help (read: a reliably liberal vote) for party leadership, especially with the absence of Senators Kennedy and Byrd for health reasons. Most importantly, though, we can now look forward to some better jokes on CSPAN.