Thursday, December 18, 2008

Waiting on the Franken/Coleman recount, Part 3

[Updated below.]

The Al Franken/Norm Coleman recount in Minnesota is getting complicated, but the outlook is promising:

Norm Coleman's apparent lead has been cut to a mere five votes at the close of business today, according to the running vote count from the Star Tribune, down from a 358-vote lead last night. Al Franken seems poised to take the lead tomorrow as the state canvassing board sorts through the remaining hundreds of ballot challenges from the Coleman campaign, which have been mostly frivolous attempts to throw out Franken votes.

Don't look now, but it looks like Al Franken may win the Minnesota Senate race.

A series of developments in the last few days have given the very strong impression that Al is suddenly in a position to prevail -- and a resolution of the fight might even come as early as tomorrow.

[Update 11:14am, 12/19]: Franken is up by over 250 votes.]

And while we're waiting, here's yet another Franken story from his SNL days (other Franken-while-you-wait stories are here and here):

Al Franken sensed a contradiction in candidate Ronald Reagan's position on marijuana.

Franken, during a week off in February of the first season, had gone to New Hampshire to visit this brother, a professional news photographer who was covering the 1976 presidential primary campaign. Thinking he might get some material he cold use for the show, Franken spent a day or two riding on the press bus, following the candidates as they stumped the state.

In a question-and-answer session at a junior high school gym one morning, Ronald Reagan had said he was opposed to a law requiring motorcycle drivers to wear helmets because such a law would restrict personal freedom. At the next stop, Reagan said he opposed legalizing marijuana because marijuana had been proven to cause brain damage. That night, in yet another forum in a hockey arena at Dartmouth College, Franken left the press section, maneuvered his way into the crowd of voters, and stood up to ask the candidate a question.

"Uh, yeah," Franken said. "Earlier today, you said you were against mandatory motorcycle helmets because that was a limit to personal freedom. Yet you are against decriminalization of marijuana because marijuana causes brain damage. Can't not wearing a motorcycle helmet cause brain damage a lot quicker by, for example, the head splitting open so that actual material from the road enters the brain?"

Reagan mumbled something Franken couldn't quite follow about being able to tell if the pilot of an airplane had been drinking but not if he'd been smoking marijuana, and quickly went on to the next question. When the event was over, Reagan's press secretary, Lyn Nofziger, angrily confronted Franken and threw him off the press bus. "You can't be a reporter and a member of the public both," Nofziger said. "Now get off the bus."


Chuck Butcher said...

Everybody should have a favorite RR story, just to prick the St Ronnie nonsense. If you're a fan of the economy today, don't blame GWB, this one started with St Ronnie. No one is incompetent enough to wreck the largest and most powerful economy in the world in 8 years, but 30 years of sustained abuse will do the trick.

Nothstine said...

Hey, Chuck--

You know, I've got friends--friends with careers, families, homes, the whole thing--who are young enough that they have never really experienced a world that wasn't filtered through the mind and myth of Reagan. There's a thought to make me stop in my tracks.

I think this book by Will Bunch should be fun reading when it comes out.