Online chatter spikes over Coleman-Franken contest

  • Article by: BOB VON STERNBERG
  • Star Tribune
  • April 1, 2009 - 2:39 PM

Republicans, Democrats and the political blogosphere lit up in the wake of Norm Coleman's serious setback Tuesday in his attempt to regain his U.S. Senate seat.

Several political websites that have been closely following what one called "the interminable Franken-Coleman contest" reacted either gleefully or morosely, depending on their political tilt.

"The Senate election contest is finally drawing to a close, although all signs indicate that Coleman still isn't ready to admit that," wrote a contributor to MNPublius, a liberal-leaning blog. "He seems perfectly willing to let the race drag on for years. Perhaps he's hoping to refuse Franken a seat until the 2014 election comes around."

Countered a writer at the conservative Power Line blog, "Senator Coleman was poorly served by the lawyers representing him and others calling the shots on his behalf during the recount ... It is therefore likely that Franken will emerge from the election contest with an enhanced lead."

Both political parties weighed in, as well.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Eric Schmidt issued a statement: "We have always said Norm Coleman deserved his day in court. He got seven weeks. Republicans have made it clear they will hold this Senate seat hostage in order to pursue their political agenda -- at the hefty expense of Minnesota having full representation in Congress."

His Republican counterpart, Guy Harrison, sent a blast e-mail to GOP supporters this morning, headlined "Don't Let 'Em Pull A Franken," asking for donations to finance a possible recount in a New York U.S. House race that is likely to be decided by absentee ballots -- just as they have become the crucial element in the Minnesota Senate race.

And this afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell redoubled the GOP's call for Coleman to keep pressing his case.

"The court's decision in Minnesota leaves no other choice but to continue the process to ensure that every legal vote is counted," McConnell said in an e-mail. "Minnesotans deserve a final ruling that applies consistent ballot standards and addresses serious unresolved questions in order to have any confidence in the accuracy of the result. Although we all want finality to this historically close election, patience must outweigh partisanship."

Elsewhere, here's a sample of comments about the case that have been posted on a variety of websites:

"Team Coleman... always good at providing legal hilarity."

"Can this finally end this mess? In order to win this Coleman is going to need to capture 313 out of 400 votes. Regardless of how likely or unlikely that is, can this finally be over?"

"Norm won on election day and everything has been corrupt since then."

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