WASHINGTON (CNN) - Al Franken says his main goal is to represent the people of Minnesota when he is sworn in Tuesday as the state's new U.S senator following an election that took almost seven months to decide.
"I'm going to work day and night to make sure our kids have a great future and that America's best days are ahead," Franken said Monday at a brief appearance with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to welcome the Minnesota Democrat to Washington.
A satirist and author who once was part of the "Saturday Night Live" cast, Franken defeated incumbent Norm Coleman by just over 300 votes out of more than 2.9 million cast in November. The Minnesota Supreme Court affirming the outcome last week.
Franken' s victory increased the number of senators in the Democratic caucus to 60, which is enough to overcome Republican attempts to mount a filibuster during floor debate.
However, it is unclear if the caucus will hold on upcoming contentious issues such as reforming the health care system and energy policy.
Franken said his main priority was to be Minnesota's second senator with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, another Democrat.
"A lot has been made of this number 60," Franken said. "The number I focus on is number two. I see myself as the number two senator from Minnesota."
Reid said Franken's election means continued progress toward the policies Americans voted for in electing President Barack Obama in November.
"Democrats are not looking at Sen.-elect Franken's election to ram legislation through this body," he said, adding he hoped the Republican majority would take part in bipartisan negotiations on legislation instead of being what he called a "party of no."
"It's our hope the 'party of no' is coming to an end," Reid said.
Al Franken will make a fine representative for his State. There is no doubt that he is a free thinking individual in a country that seems to be a like a herd of sheep. To those of you who cannot separate Al from his SNL days, I suggest you read his books; they are well thought out, informative and all too often, dead on.
The Republicans showed their true colors by fighting Al's election, they are so full of spite that they make my head spin.
Good Luck Senator Franken!!
Welcome Senator Franken. Now get to work and let's pass health care reform that includes a strong public option!
heck, he figured if obama could steal an election by corrupting the vote count, why can't I?
Guys, take a chill pill!
I think Senator Franken will surprise many of his critics in much the same way Representatives, Bono (Sonny) and Gandy (Gopher) surprised theirs. Maybe I should also mention another surpisingly sucessful entertainer turned politician.....Reagan (the Gipper).
You may not agree with his politics, but give him credit for hanging in their and keeping his cool during his opponents protracted challenge.
Hey Dan, ole buddy ole pal, you just gave a factual description of the republican motis operandi to a tee.
Yellow journalism? Lies? Can you say "swift boat"? Or, the Bush administration planting fake "news" stories to all the major networks? Or the "let's attack Iraq" for (insert reason that hasn't been disproven yet today)? Or how about the whole republican family values lie, all the way back to Dick Armey, David Ankeney, 3-divorce Limbaugh, Larry Craig, and of course, the more recent Ensign and Sanford. With all of talk radio and Fox News (or any Murdoch or Rev. Sun Myung Moon media) in your pocket, don't try and tell us there's a liberal media.
There's a lot of people eating sour grapes here today. GOOD! Get used to it – you're going to be eating a lot more during the next 7.5+ years.
let see if he does keep his promise to keep kids safe into future.... ohh, is that other SNL for him?
All you repubs that think Al Franken is stupid because he was a comedian on SNL. He's a Harvard educated mathematician for crying out loud. How many of you T00LS graduated from Harvard with any degree never mind with a math degree?
YEAH!!!! Good for you Al Franken....... and THANK YOU, Minnesota!
The people making comments about Franken being a comedian, need to remember that Reagan was an actor!
@ Mississippi Mike............. "Another clown"? What did you call Reagan the actor or Arnold of California the body builder! Funny how the GOPers complain, when they also have actors, adulterers, criminals, etc., in their ranks!
You know what they say.......... People who live in glass houses should not throw stones!
To Donnat, DITTO!!
So exactly what makes Franken smart? He wrote an anti-repub book? Dumocrats, there's an old saying, "be careful what you wish for..." oh, and you can stop blaming repubs, dems have had control of congress for 2 1/2 years...ooops, a fact, I'll get csnsored!