In November’s Election Day 2008, we saw many hotly contested and historic races. One race that stands out above many of them because it is both, hotly contested and historic in the sense that it is one of the most longest and drawn out races that we’ve seen in recent history, is that of the Minnesota race for U.S. Senator between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken. And here we are two months removed from the day of the election and Minnesota officials seem to be ready to announce Al Franken as the winner and next United States Senator.
Franken, famous from his time as a comedian and writer for Saturday Night Live, where he played characters such as self-help guru Stuart Smalley, also went on to become a liberal political commentator. On his national syndicated radio show, he announced his bid in early 2007 where he would win the primarily which would eventually pit him against Norm Coleman. The general election season between the two could have been consider typical and normal between political rivals, with Franken getting a boost from his pre-politician fame from SNL and his talk show. But that would only bring us to the election day.
The race was too close to call on the night of the election. That would lead up to state canvassing board to announce the mandatory recount on November 18 because Coleman had only a lead of 215 votes out of close to three million, which was less than one half percent of the total votes cast. Over the next month, a long and grueling hand recount of the 2.9 million votes would ensue. That would be followed by a search for hundreds of missing and/or uncounted ballots, and then to thousands of other ballots challenged by either campaign of the voters true intent. Then, after state Supreme Court became involved, there were the review of several hundred absentee ballots that may have been discarded. So for two months it was back and forth, lead change after lead change, first it’s Coleman and then Franken, etc. The end would result in the canvassing board ready to announce Al Franken the winner by 225 votes. The announcement should come on Monday, a day before the U.S. Senate convenes on Tuesday.
Not for nothin’, but its unfortunate for the state of Minnesota, but aren’t we glad we didn’t have to go through this to decide who would be the winner of the presidential race. We all remember when a long drawn-out race of this type presented itself in 2000 when Bush defeated Gore, but we were saved much heartache, misery and worry when Al Gore gave it. He could have taken it this far, some believe that because it was for the presidency he probably should have. But in this case, for all that’s decent, for all that’s righteous, lets finally have a winner announced. This has gone on way too far.