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.
I'm Al Franken, the Senator
And you're not
If only an Ivy League education was a guarantee to the American public of morality, intelligience, pragmatism, selflessness and an overwhelming respect for the property and gains of others.
Governments, Media, Education, Healthcare, Charities, Industries, Corporations, Unions, Oversight Groups, Financial Institutions, Advocacy Groups, Lobbyists, Think Tanks, EPA, Wall St., ETC.
are chocked full of Ivy League, Oxford and Rhodes scholars that helped steer this country ever deeper into this chasm of waste through deception, greed, theft and self serving interest.
After all, these people know better how to spend your money than you do.
Look Dumb and Dumber.
Wit and brains! How sweet it is. Senator Franken will be independent, voting to serve the people. Love it!
As a Republican, I couldn't be happier to see Al Franken seated as a senator. He's going to be such a hassle for the Democrats, and he's going to say and do things that make their whole party look unprofessional and incompetent. Congrats Al Franken; you are fuel for the 2012 GOP comeback.
Change might require a nuanced outlook. I think that it is really easy to blame all manner of things of stupid or inept on "politicians". Anyone can do this and, in fact, who hasn't read comments like "Mississippi Mike"'s before? Think that everyone else is bad? Run for office, convince others you are different and win. I think that this what most people in public service at least intend to do.
Congrats to you Franken!
It's about time this matter was settled and Coleman stops wasting money and time on his lost election. Now if the rest of the Republicans in Washington will actually do some work instead of whining all the time, they might actually come up with suggestions on moving this country forward instead of living in Reagan times (and trickle down economics helped put this country on a treacherous greedy path). I'm sick of hearing about coleman, Michael Jackson, and Palin. come on CNN...get some dignity back.
I'll say it again: Any incumbent Senator that gets less than 50% of the votes is clearly not the people's choice. Coleman was a scumbag, and most of us here in MN knew it. Most of the people voting for him were either voting in lock-step like most Republicans do, or just voting against Franken. Also, if Barkley had kept his nose out of it, like he should have, Franken would have had a much clearer majority. Overall, though, at least the right guy finally got in there.
Hey, Frankens next movie will be called Stuart saves Congress. Probably be out next fall for a run time of 88 mins... and 4 years!!!!!!!!
The people of MA are sick and tired of 1-party rule in this state. Governor Deval Patrick will never be re-elected. NEVER. And yes, I think the people of MA, myself included, will vote a republican to the Senate. Count on it.
His district must cover Manhatten Beach.
Some people get right to work(Franken), while others just pick up and leave it(Palin, Sanford).
Members can vote as they like on the underlying issue, as long as they vote "Aye" to end debate. The business of the United States will finally get done.
@ Fair is Fair
You must be living in a different MA than the one I'm in. Have you been drinking from the Charles River?
The only thing "funny' about Al Franken is that he was losing until a box of ballots "magically" appeared in the trunk of a car.
@ Al-Chesapeake July 6th, 2009 2:35 pm ET
All you liberals jumping on Coleman because of the recount sure have short memories considering your own Al Gore done the same thing in 2000.
Seems to me that Gore won the state ruling and W challenged the recount to the US Supreme Court. And Gore didn't drag it out six months longer than necessary just to spite the "winner."
!Oh Boy!!!??? July 6th, 2009 2:50 pm ET
Hi. I'm Al Franken, the Senator And you're not
You are making my point. The problem is the arrogance! We elect people to serve us! The problem is most politicians continue to believe it is about THEM! It is supposed to be about US!
I know liberals are touched, but if anyone really thinks that Stuart Smalley is qualified to be Senator, then you must also think that Obama is qualified to be President. Debt now 11.4 trillion. Who's going to pay it back?
The Republicans can take an early vacation as the Democrats don't need them for votes.
Why doesn't CNN ever post anything negative about Democrats? The Republicans can take an early vacation as the Democrats don't need them for votes.
Congrats Senator, thanks for hanging in there.
Palin will be just fine. She just got shock out of the system because she did not know how to manage her press. She thought if she really really tried she could controle the media. She learned otherwise. That was the same problem Mrs. Clinton had hey PUMA?
It's about time that Franken was seated. Congrats sir!!!!