Al Franken left showbiz to prove himself a serious policy wonk as well as a devoted family man; Sarah Palin transformed herself and her family into a reality television show. Their long, odd trips reflect the journeys of their respective parties.
Al Franken won't officially be a U.S. senator until next week, but he's set to make a big impact, and not just because he gives his party that 60th seat. Senate Democrats have reserved four committee spots for Franken, two of which will make him a key participant in health care reform and the confirmation of President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.
After five months of recounting and legal wrangling in Minnesota's endless Senate battle, Al Franken has more votes than he started with and Norm Coleman still can't accept that he's out of a job. A state court just sided with Franken, but Coleman has said he will continue to appeal.
How's this for chutzpah? Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., hanging on to his job by a thread, told a conservative radio audience that "God wants me to serve." So why did God let Al Franken win the recount?
After recounting 2.4 million ballots cast in the state's U.S. Senate election, Minnesota officials are ready to name Al Franken the winner by a mere 225 votes. Franken's rival, Sen. Norm Coleman, will likely fight the decision in the state Supreme Court. His campaign manager, meanwhile, is calling for a do-over. Updates after the jump.
Minnesotans have been parodied for their politeness, but the state's Senate race seems to get nastier and nastier. With Al Franken taking a sliver of a lead by most estimates, the bitter recount battle halted Monday as both sides made a scene in Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's office.
In case you haven't been following Al Franken's fortunes in Minnesota's ongoing recount, here's a brief recap: He was down, but not by much, then down by less and, a little later, even less, then he claimed to be up, but now it looks like he's down again, but not by much. Confused? You're not alone.