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Coleman vs. Franken continues. Will Arctic ice cap melt before Minnesota gets new senator?

March 10, 2009 | 10:21 am

Minnesota's long Senate contest between incumbent Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken

They are calling it the longest Senate election in U.S. history. So far, it's been 126 days since voters in Minnesota went to the polls to cast their ballots between incumbent Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger (and comedian) Al Franken. Actually, as you'll see from this clip, the election aftermath seems to have taken the funny out of Franken, who now looks and talks just like a politician.

Anyway, it would take a professional comedian to make sense of this, but the state's only serving senator, Amy Klobuchar, is rising to the task. Once, she decreed that a winner would be announced by the time the ice melts on Lake Minnetonka around April 11. Now she says, "Pretty soon I'm going to say when the ice melts on the Arctic."

The latest news, though voters in the Land of 10,000 Lakes tell reporters they are bored beyond measure, is that judges on the state's high court rejected Franken's demand that they order the governor and secretary of State to award him the coveted election certificate needed to take the seat. But there's still the Coleman lawsuit --  filed after Minnesota's Canvassing Board certified Franken as the winner by 225 votes -- that the state's election counts are so riddled with irregularities that they cost him the seat.

And, says election-law expert David Schultz at the University of Minnesota, if the eventual loser appeals to the state's Supreme Court, Klobuchar could be the state's only senator until mid-July.

One 98-year-old retiree, William Beyer, told Time magazine that he had the solution: "a nice gold coin and flip it in the air."

-- Johanna Neuman

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Photos: Norm Coleman by Paul Sancya / Associated Press; Al Franken by Cory Ryan / Getty Images