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Joe Biden update: He'll swear in Al Franken today as senator; no joke!

Democrats vice president Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton practice not laughing

Well, this morning -- perhaps even as you read this -- Vice President Joe Biden is meeting at his secret observatory in Washington with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Of course, with President Obama out of the country as a decoy in Russia having breakfast with Prime Minster Vladimir Putin, the Biden-Clinton breakfast is, like all the vice president's many private meetings, closed to the media.

So we can only speculate on the agenda, most likely that the former first lady from Chicago/Chappaqua is giving the former senator from Delaware some good jokes for Biden's noon gig on Capitol Hill.

At that very special hour, according to Biden's White House schedule, the vice president will have the unique and special honor of swearing into senatorhood the new senator from Minnesota, likely the very first "Saturday Night Live" cast member to join that elite club of dark blue suits (and a couple of red ones).

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with the 315-vote-margin senator-elect and was clearly blown away by the fellow who will be the Democrats' important 60th vote as long as the other 59 continue breathing.

In his most enthusiastic remarks, even for someone from somewhere as uptown as Searchlight, Reid announced that Franken's coming would not by itself solve all of the nation's problems. For Reid's full text click here.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press (Clinton and Biden, right, practice not laughing).

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You can down play it by calling Al Franken the "315-vote margin senator-elect" but the true facts is we finally got rid of Coleman. I thought this day would never come.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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