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Will Norm Coleman Ever Concede?

Lawyers for Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman seem to only continue their lawsuits in an effort for Coleman to keep his seat, despite every recount of votes placing Coleman narrowly behind apparent winner Al Franken. On Tuesday, Minnesota state election officials opened and counted 351 absentee ballots that a three judge panel ordered needed to be legally counted despite attempts by lawyers hired by Coleman to suppress these votes, and this put Al Franken ahead by another 82 votes. Franken now leads by 312 votes, which is certainly no landslide by any means. No one will be calling Franken, "Landslide Al", anytime real soon. But it is pretty clear that Franken has probably won this senate seat. Yet lawsuits by Coleman will probably only continue to drag this thing out for a few more weeks. norm coleman.jpg

Okay, Norm here's the deal. The United States is a representative democracy. And elections are held in which the guy with the most votes wins and represents the people. On November 2008, Republicans were facing some very tough times. George Bush fatigue tired-out many voters, the economy was sinking, and not every voter was very enegized by Sarah Palin or by the weak campaign effort by John McCain. In this bad tide for Republicans, Barack Obama was elected president with a big 9 and a half million vote margin, including a big win in Minnesota.

Oh certainly, Al Franken knew how to make things very hard for himself in a very Democratic year and in a very Democratic state. He nearly managed to lose this election by being so controversial, as many voters just couldn't quite take Franken entirely seriously. But in such a Democratic year, even Al Franken just couldn't quite blow this one for himself. Norm Coleman was facing this awful 2008 tide running against Republicans and just never had a really good chance to be re-elected, despite Al Franken being his opponent. The fact that he came as close to keeping his seat as he did was indeed a pretty good achievement. Many pretty good Republican senators such as compassionate conservative Gordon Smith of Oregon lost their senate seats despite relatively decent records on many issues. Smith even managed to work with Senator Kennedy on strengthening hate crimes legislation as well as work with Democratic Senator Ron Wyden on many issues. In the same vein, Coleman wasn't really a terrible senator by any means. But he faced a very difficult year for Republicans.

At some point, Coleman needs to recognize that elections are held to provide representation for citizens. And the citizens of Minnesota deserve to have someone represent them in Washington, even if it isn't Norm Coleman himself. There isn't any reason for Coleman to assume that the office is owed to him. If things were reversed, and Al Franken was consistently on the losing end of the vote count, after several recounts, lawsuits, court fights, etc., he would be expected to throw in the towel at some point.

Norm Coleman has left Minnesota without representation in Washington for months now. The November election is almost ancient history now. Coleman is highly unlikely to win this election despite lawsuit after lawsuit. You can't plan on winning an election by hoping to suppress the count of legally cast votes with lawsuits. Other than providing lawyers a lot of work, Coleman isn't really proving much of anything here other than a big personal ego trip.

For the good of his his state, Norm Coleman needs to throw in the towel and concede. But Coleman doesn't intend to quit. For Coleman's lawyers, the Minnesota state Supreme Court is only their next legal stop as Coleman hopes to drag this thing out even longer. And according to the Politico, Coleman faces several potentially serious ethics and even an FBI investigation into his business dealings with a benefactor. Even if Coleman pulls out some long shot legal victory to keep his seat in the senate, he faces a rocky path of serious legal issues that will dominate his term as senator.

Coleman needs to be a political realist here. Losing his senate seat might just be the best thing for both Minnesota and for Coleman.

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Comments (10)


True, when the election is over, it's over. However Paul, you aren't addressing some of the issues that have been brought up that aren't being brought forward by the MSM. The fact that several counties had higher vote totals than registered voters in counties that went overwhelmingly Franken is of concern, so is the fact that one of the election officials "found" 300+ votes in the back of her car 3 days after the election that were overwhelmingly for Franken. I'd contest those votes too. When Bush won Florida in 2000, I don't remember many democrats whining about contesting those results. Voter fraud allegations should be taken seriously.


Chad, all of the allegations you mentioned have been found out to be not true. The Coleman camp makes one argument and contradicts that argument with another. With that kind of logic, of course they think the election is fatally flawed. But it's not the election that is flawed, it's them.


Dammit Chad, Franken and ACORN stole that election and you need to STFU. Don't you know any better?

Rich Fader:

I remember 2000. I remember thinking much the same thing about Vice President Gore. I remember people on my side making much the same pleas to the vice president. On even firmer ground, by the way, because then-Governor Bush led the vice president in Florida, even after the recounts, by more votes than Mr. Franken's current margin over Senator Coleman. I remember that the vice president, with the vocal and united support of his party, ignored those arguments and continued with his legal action until it reached the U. S. Supreme Court and ultimately until he and his advisors came to the conclusion that further legal action would do no more to change the result. So, to answer your question, I suspect that Senator Coleman will continue his case as far as the courts will allow and concede when he can go no further. Whenever that might eventually be. I expect the Democrats to defend the senator's right to do so as avidly as they did the vice president's.

Lee Ward:

Just because someone has the right to do something doesn't mean that it's a smart thing to do. You have the right to poke a stick in your eye, Rich, but wouldn't that be dumb.

And an analog to the 2000 presidential election isn't valid - we're not talking about the POTUS and the will of millions of voters -- we're talking about an egotistical putz in Minnesota (Franken) and the even bigger putz (Coleman) who just won't let go.


You are correct Lee, that just because you can do something doesn't mean that you have to.

However, if it was the right thing to do for a large number of people why isn't it right for a smaller number of people? How many millions of people does it take to make it matter whether or not voter fraud has happened? How important of a position does it take to make voter fraud matter?

You have suggested that nation wide and presidential voter fraud matters.


No, Allen, they haven't been found to be untrue, the press has said those allegations are unfounded, but have shown no proof to back it. The Star Tribune has been in Franken's pocket from the word go, and they have been burying stories about voter fraud since two weeks after the election when it became clear that an official recount might not go in Franken's favor. The votes found in the election supervisor's car were counted. Even though chain of custody was broken, and the person turning them in was a known Franken supporter, they were allowed to be turned in to be counted. I have never seen anyone deny that, have you? I'm not a big Coleman fan myself, met the man, don't really like the guy, but it's his right (just as it was Al Gore's) to demand recounts and investigations regarding voter fraud, recount methods, and vote totals that don't jive with voter registrations. It doesn't matter if it was a presidential race, or for the position of town dog-catcher in a town of 200 people, it's his right.


Chad, those reports were found out to be untrue. Coleman's camp admitted, several days after that came out about ballots in a car, was a false rumor. The courts have went through all of the allegations, and nothing was found to be illegal.

Simple fact Colman lost. He also is under investigation by the FBI for some money matters. Granting the point that neither one of them are worth a darn, is it fair to the voters of MN who only have 1 Senator? And Coleman doesn't have the money to pay those legal bills, so who is paying them and why are they paying them?


This is no longer about Coleman... this whole episode of dragging out this election is about denying President Obama a 59 seat Senate. Period ! as he tries to get legislation passed that supports his agenda. Exclamation Point !

Since Obama is pushing most or all of his initiatives early then this one seat is all that is important to the GOP obstruction and is 1 seat from being filibuster proof !

I must say if the reverse was true and I was not a dyed in the rayon (D)... I would probably encourage my side to do the same .


"On even firmer ground, by the way, because then-Governor Bush led the vice president in Florida, even after the recounts..." -- Rich

Dude, there was no statewide recount of Florida, your evil, wicked side put an end to that. Had there actually been a statewide manual recount of all recoverable undervotes AND OVERVOTES, the Idiot-in-Chief you're responsible for to your everlasting shame would have lost Florida to the future Nobel Laureate, just like the rest of the country, where Al Gore got half a million more votes from the American people than your IDIOT got.

"I remember that the vice president, with the vocal and united support of his party, ignored those arguments and continued with his legal action until it reached the U. S. Supreme Court" == Rich

This statement is about as dumb as Bush, which is really saying something. It was Bush who ran running to the courts, particularly to the U.S. Supreme Court, where his buddies gave him the presidency. You see, Bush was ahead in the vote count at the time, and therefore as a conservative (i.e., wicked to the core), he sought to shut down the vote count, democracy be damned. And he succeeded, with Bush v. Gore

Unlike Florida, in Minnesota the statewide manual recount was actually completed, and Al Franken won. Coleman is just being your typical immoral conservative, trying to deny the Democrats a Senate seat for as long as possible.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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