February 16th, 2009
01:27 PM ET
14 years ago

Franken says he's 'technically' senator-elect

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/16/art.cnn.welch.franken.jpg caption="Al Franken held a slim lead over former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman after the statewide recount was complete."]ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - The fight over Minnesota's Senate seat is still making its way through the legal system, but Democrat Al Franken's staff on Monday began officially calling him "Senator-elect."

Franken has yet to be issued a certificate of election, and a post-election trial is currently playing out which will decide the outcome.

A press release went out early Monday morning announcing that the "Sen-elect" would be holding a roundtable discussion on the stimulus package with local mayors and a school board member, essentially carrying out duties on par with those of a sitting Senator.

Following the event at the first press conference he's held since the election, Franken said he personally does not insist people address him as Senator-elect, but said "technically" it was correct.

"I won the recount," Franken said. "You can call me Al."

Franken held a slim lead of only 225 votes - out of about 3 million - over former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman after the statewide recount was complete. But both the secretary of state and the governor, a Democrat and a Republican respectively, have refused to make those results official because Coleman is contesting those results in court.

Franken was also asked if he thought people might find this latest action a bit presumptuous.

"I get asked that a lot," Franken said. "I don’t think this is presumptuous at all. I think that Minnesotans know that it's...very possible that I'll be in the Senate, and that I want to hit the ground running when I get there."

Franken said he would take his findings from the roundtable and "report to Amy," referring to Minnesota's lone U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a fellow Democrat.

The Minnesota Supreme Court is currently weighing Franken's request to force the state to issue the election certificate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid - who thus far has not attempted to seat Franken - might be more inclined to place him in the Senate if the High Court sides with him, Franken said.

"I think he's really waiting for this contest to finish or wait until the... Minnesota Supreme Court makes a ruling on a certificate."

Coleman spokesman Mark Drake told reporters gathered at the trial proceedings Monday that calling Franken the senator-elect would be "a joke."

In an emailed statement, another Coleman spokesman, Luke Friedrich, said Franken is merely "pretending to be a Senator before we know who really won."

"Al Franken's 'Senator-for-a-day' public relations stunt is not a replacement for proven leadership.," Friedrich said. "Senator Coleman consults on a regular basis with his colleagues, Minnesota officials and others on issues related to the economy and jobs."

The trial moved into its fourth week Monday afternoon. Franken said he will not be in attendance, as he will be traveling to other parts of the state for more roundtable discussions. Franken has not shown up in the courtroom to date, while rival Coleman has shown up regularly.

Filed under: Al Franken
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Jim

    The sad part is there are those that support this idiot. Americans by and large have been overcome with the dreaded disease titled "A bad case of the dumb".

    February 16, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. C.S.A republicans

    Al Franken is a hero.Lets bury the 21 states of the confederacy once and for all.

    February 16, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. Matthew, Houston, TX

    Eric from Texas, you just proved Dylan's point. Dude, it was the Republicans that filibustered the Democrats for the last two years every time they tried to implement some regulations, tax fairness, fair wage laws . . . you name it, they were against it unless shrub approved it.

    February 16, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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