The Minnesota State Canvassing Board on Monday certified the results of the recount of Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's fight to retain his seat against Franken. The results showed Franken with a 225-vote lead. [...]
Coleman's campaign contends the recount should have included about 650 absentee ballots it says were improperly rejected in the initial count.
The initial count from the November 4 election put Coleman, a first-term senator, 215 votes ahead of Franken, who is known for his stint on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and as a former talk-show host on progressive radio network Air America.
In Washington, the Senate's majority and minority leaders staked out opposing positions on the matter of who will serve Minnesota alongside Democrat Amy Klobuchar.
"There comes a time when you have to acknowledge that the race is over," Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters. "The race in Minnesota's over. Now it's only a little finger-pointing. The certification by the canvassing board, which has been in process for a number of weeks, now clearly shows that Al Franken has won."
Moments later, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said, "The law in Minnesota requires certification from the secretary of state and that can't happen until the conclusion of all legal battles. It's not over."
Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan echoed McConnell's criticism.
"The efforts of Al Franken, Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer to steal this election and seat Al Franken despite not having an election certificate are unprecedented," Duncan said in a statement. "I am confident that if the law is followed, Norm Coleman will be taking his rightful seat in the U.S. Senate."
Meanwhile, in a move that leaves a post-election legal challenge the last hope for Coleman, Minnesota's high court earlier Monday denied his campaign's request to consider about 650 additional rejected absentee ballots.
So, for those who are finding this confusing, here's the current state of things:
When Coleman lead by 215 votes, the Democrats immediately challenged the election, screaming that the Republicans were trying to steal it.
When the Minnesota State Canvassing Board decided that whole slews of votes which looked like they were for Colemen ought to be thrown out, the Democrats were happy.
Once the Board had found Franken to be the winner by 225 votes, the additional ten votes suddenly amounts to a supermajority that nobody in their right minds ought to question.
And any suggestion that there could be hundreds of absentee votes that weren't counted is--well, it's true, but the Republicans will have to go to court to force those ballots to get counted, because there's a possibility that counting those votes would make Coleman the winner, and Democrats appear to want to block votes from being counted when they think those votes will hurt their candidate.
So unless the Coleman camp can win in court and get those absentee votes counted, Franken, professional blowhard, hack SNL writer, actor of extremely finite talent, and former star of the abysmally mediocre Al Franken Show on Air America, will be the new Senator from Minnesota. And as a hot-air merchant with no particular leadership skills to speak of he'll fit right in in this new Senate of Change and Hope. Heck, he'll probably end up the mascot.