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The gloves are not off yet

January 23, 2009 - Per Peterson
Senate candidates Norm Coleman and Al Franken put the gloves on months before the November election and probably went through a couple pairs as they traded nasty punches on a nearly daily basis throughout last summer. From the looks of things, Coleman’s not ready to take his off just yet. On Thursday, the Republican told the Associated Press that “any other Democrat other than the former “Saturday Night Love” comedian would have been elected” in this election. ‘‘A Minnesota-bred, traditional Democratic candidate probably could have waltzed into office in this cycle.’’ Coleman, who was hired Thursday as a consultant by the Republican Jewish Coalition, cited the economic downturn and the unpopularity of then-President George Bush for making it a tough environment for any Republican running for office. Coleman couldn’t be more right with his latest jab, and give him credit for telling it like it is when it comes to the black cloud hanging over the heads of most Republicans for the last couple years. If you had an “R” after your name during this last election season, it might as well stood for “running out of time” or “running on empty.” I thought the “Minnesota-bred” thing was a bit over the top, however, and probably not the kind of stone he would’ve wanted to cast BEFORE Nov. 4, because NEITHER of these candidates scream out Minnesota to me. Coleman was born in New York City, and Franken, although he was born in Minnesota, jettisoned after high school before moving back in 2005. It’s hard to say who’s MORE “Minnesotan.” It leaves me to wonder what the point is to his comments. The campaign’s over, Norm. You have nothing more to gain or lose here; it’s up to judges and lawyers now … gasp! Is this election hangover speaking? Maybe putting down his opponent so much during the last year (you’re guilty, too, Mr. Franken), got to be such habit that he couldn’t stop, even though it’s pretty pointless. I’m glad Coleman landed another gig. He might need the extra money. Should we assume by him taking this position that he — at least internally — is conceding the race to his opponent? Has his window of opportunity closed right on his fingers? Unless the courts overturn Franken’s 225-vote lead in the neverending story that is the Minnesota’s Senate race, he’ll need the paycheck. Anyway, thanks for one last jab, Mr. Coleman. I’m sure I speak for all Minnesotans when I say I've really missed the banter you and Mr. Franken shared last year.


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