As Democrat Al Franken waits to see if the state Supreme Court will give him the green light to be seated provisionally in the U.S. Senate, he made a public appearance Monday afternoon designed to make him look, well, senatorial.
And the announcement, identifying the DFLer as "Sen.-elect" Franken," drove home the point.
Franken, with a 225-vote recount lead over Republican Norm Coleman, met with the mayors from the Twin Cities area, Duluth and Two Harbors on Monday, to discuss the nation's economic crisis. "His goal," a press release said, "is to learn what Minnesota's cities need most from Washington."
A spokesman for Coleman, who unlike Franken has regularly attended sessions of the Senate election trial where the Republican is challenging the DFLer's lead, called Franken's appearance "a public relations stunt."
Just how Franken should be addressed has been the subject of some dispute and confusion. Several weeks ago, a campaign spokeswoman told the Star Tribune that Franken routinely corrects people who refer to him as "Senator." But in court, Franken's lawyers have commonly called him "Senator-elect."
Apparently, the matter is settled so far as the campaign is concerned.
BOB VON STERNBERG