It's been a strange eight months following the Minnesota elections. Here are 10 of our very favorite moments (post election), care of TPMDC reporter (and Franken-Coleman authority) Eric Kleefeld: Nov. 5: Franken Says Race "Too Close to Call"
The day after the election, Franken releases a statement
vowing that the race is not over. He doesn't know the half of it... Jan. 6: Coleman Files Lawsuit Contesting Results
Coleman's lawsuit is filed
right after the recount is completed, and is filled with contradictions and flimsy legal arguments. Basically, Coleman and his lawyers say the entire election was tainted, and he deserves to win. In Eric's words, his strategy is "overall throw[ing] everything against the wall to see what sticks."Jan. 29, Feb. 4: Coleman Tries To Get Ballots Counted Despite Forgery
In so many cases we lose count, Coleman's lawyers try to get ballots OK'd despite the fact that the signatures on the ballot applications were forged
. One such argument led to this
memorable exchange with lead Coleman attorney Joe Friedberg:
Friedberg: In point of fact, even though I did something I wasn't supposed to do with the application, my ballot should still count because my signature is genuine.Feb. 27: Franken Team Catches Coleman Hiding a Witness
Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann: Not according to the procedures we use to determine whether the signature is genuine.
Friedberg: I don't care about your procedures.
(Franken lawyer calls an objection, is sustained.)
Friedberg: OK, I do care...
The courtroom devolves into chaos when Franken's lawyers catch Coleman's team havinghidden a witness
, a Republican poll worker from Minneapolis, during the discovery phase of the trial. This came after they'd been caught having withheld notes
that were made by this same poll worker. Franken then moved to have Coleman's claims of double-counted ballots dropped. The witness's testimony was ultimately kept in the record, but the damage to Team Coleman's credibility was clear. March 30: Cornyn Says Election Could Take "Years" To Resolve
NRSC John Cornyn promises resistance
to any attempt to seat Franken, saying that the litigation could take "years" to sort out. Nice try, John. April 13: Franken Declares Victory, Quotes Paul Wellstone
After the election contest court rules in Franken's favor, he holds a press conference
outside his home, quoting Paul Wellstone, the Minnesota senator and close friend of Franken's who died in 2002. "It's like what Paul Wellstone always said: Politics isn't about winning, it's about improving people's lives." Wellstone's death clearly had a big personal effect on Franken, spurring him to get seriously involved in politics, which ultimately led to this entire hullabaloo. April, May: Polls Show Minnesotans Want Coleman to Concede
Three polls show that a majority of Minnesota voters -- from 54%
-- want Coleman to step back and let Franken take the Senate seat. May 4: Franken: "Why Am I Grumpy? Oh, I Know Why"
An annoyed Franken describes his strange transition process
(one in which he can't pay any of his staffers) and admits that, yes, sometimes we all get a little cranky. June 30: Coleman Concedes. It's Over.
After the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously rules
that Franken legitimately won the election, Coleman holds a (rather classy) press conference
in which he finally concedes the race
. Minnesota (and TPM HQ) breathes a sigh of relief. June 30: Franken Accepts Victory
A jubilant Franken holds a press conference
to accept victory and thank Coleman, saying "I'm so excited to finally be able to get to work for the people of Minnesota."
Finally indeed, Senator-elect Franken.