Last week, I gave voice to my inner Norm Coleman and posted a “modest, naïve proposal” designed to put to rest any concern that Coleman’s legal appeals were motivated mostly by a desire to forestall the day when Al Franken would be seated in the U.S. Senate. The idea was simple: Coleman would ask the Senate to seat Franken on a provisional basis so that Minnesota would be fully represented in the Senate. In exchange, he would get an ironclad commitment from Franken and the Dem leadership to seat Coleman if he ultimately prevails in his efforts to prove that he won the election.
By calling it naïve, I acknowledged that it didn’t fit the political exigencies of the moment. For one thing, it would probably not be well received within the Republican base on which Coleman relies for the funding to continue his case. And, let’s face it, if the Repubs get nothing else out of the millions they have poured into Coleman’s legal effort, they will have gained a small partisan advantage by keeping the Dem Senate majority one vote smaller for some number (exact number to come) of months.
But after it was published, a number of MinnPost readers who liked the modest proposal urged me to seek a response from Coleman. So, what the heck, I have politely sought that response for the past week. I am now officially informed that Coleman — who is giving a lot of interviews these days and who, to his credit, has often tolerated my impertinent questions — will not discuss the merits and demerits of my modest proposal.
As a small but inadequate substitute, I asked Coleman Campaign Manager Cullen Sheehan for a more general statement, on Coleman’s behalf, to respond to the widespread complaints/suspicions, mostly from Dems, that his continuing pursuit of his legal case is more about stalling than any realistic expectation that he might win a second term. The statement:
“We are pursuing the legal avenue that has been prescribed under Minnesota law. We are disappointed that Al Franken or anyone else would be so shrill to suggest that the due process and equal protection rights of 4,400 Minnesotans should be swept under the rug. The time that we are taking to get it right is well within the prescribed limits allowed under the law, and any suggestion to the contrary is wrong and misleading.”
p.s. In case you missed it: The Supreme Court released the schedule for the briefs and oral arguments (June 1 for the arguments). Teammate Jay Weiner has the details.
p.p.s. My ill-advised prediction was that if everything happened on the “likeliest” basis, Franken could be seated by late May or June. Forget about May