I haven't blogged about it much, and I hope this comes across the way I mean it to, but my favorite political race to casually watch right now is Al Franken's race for Norm Coleman's seat out in Minnesota. I like Franken, and I like the sort of daring choices involved in him getting this far. I also feel like somehow I link him with fellow Midwest comedian poet Garrison Keillor. Regardless of the why behind my finding this race so compelling, frankly it just is.
Background for anyone unfamiliar is that Coleman took over for Paul Wellstone, a wildly popular progressive two-term Senator from Minnesota who died tragically and unexpectedly in a plane crash. When Wellstone passed away his seat in the Senate was somehow passed along ot Coleman, someone who has been labled by some as a moderate Republican.
Coleman is, however, a man who has acted in many ways as a yes man for the Bush administration, and someone who rode to a second term based on his links to an administration that was popular 5+ years ago. Now Coleman is locked in a tight race with Al Franken for his seat, and Franken has overcome quite a few obstacles to get this far, and the race is tight and getting tighter. A recent development involves recent discovery of Coleman stretching ethics rules around gifts. Here's a clip from a press conference today where Coleman's press guy makes um... an ass of himself (I think that's the technical term for what you'll see below).