It would appear, regardless of what both right and left leaning blogs would have you believe, that this race is over.
The most recent news: Franken won a decision on Friday to open up more ballots for counting while Coleman is suing to shut down the recount with the expectation that Franken might actually have a few vote advantage. Sound familiar? Do you even care at this point? Dems are up in arms re: Coleman’s attempts to block the count but let’s face it, Franken would be doing everything he could under the law to stop the recount if the shoe were on the other foot (apologies to the Bush family for the shoe reference but I couldn’t resist).
Let me be the first to announce the outcome: THE WINNER IS: NOBODY. With a result this tight (perhaps within 10 votes of over 2.9 million cast after Franken gets his recount) the Secretary of State and board of elections can call it a tie. Since state law does not allow for a re-do, it’s up to state officials to draw a lot or simply flip a coin.
Rather than flipping a coin, I say they have a duel. That’s right — a duel to the death (or something close). BTW, a very patriotic and long standing tradition in this country (see Burr, Aaron vs. Hamilton, Alexander). Besides, don’t we deserve a little entertainment after this mind numbing recount business.
Gentlemen, choose your weapons:
#1. Yo Momma: They both appear on Wilmer Valderrama’s MTV show “Yo Momma” and have to trash talk each other’s Jewish mother (example: “Yo yiddisha momma’s like a Liberal parole officer – she never let’s anyone finish a sentence”).
#2. Project Runway: they have 24 hours to design the perfect prison outfit for Michigan Gov Rod Blagojevich. Tim Gunn will model each. Jesse Jackson Jr. helps Heidi pick the winner.
#3. Ice Fishing: a favorite winter sport in Minnesota, they each have to live in a cabin on the ice for a week with their lawyers. Whoever gets the most fish or goes the longest without taking a Xanax or an Ambien wins.
#4. Pistol at 20 paces: Or, they can just have Dick Cheney aim his hunting rifle in the opposite direction and we’ll see which guy drops.
Update from The NY Times (December 16):
Whoever fills the Senate seat is supposed to assume office in early January. If the race is still contested then, the Senate has the power to decide which man takes the seat, Professor Schier said. Democrats hold a majority, but members on both sides of the aisle might be reluctant to decide such a close race, he said.
If there are further legal challenges it may be out of the hands of Minnesota election officials. The US Senate, then has the right to choose. Perhaps Franken should just change his name to Kennedy, then he’d be an automatic shoe-in for the seat.
Jan 21, 2009 update: It would appear that being named Kennedy does not guarantee you a Senate seat . It is now past “early January” and Minnesota still has only one Senator. However, with Coleman’s lawyers still challenging the recount Harry Reid and other dems are moving to have Franken seated, according to The Associated Press:
“If Al Franken truly believes he won this election, he should respect the laws of his state and allow this legal review to be completed,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
When the chairman of the Republican Senatorial Committe gets in on the action you know it’s moved from Minnesota to the big leagues. But still no end in sight …