Al Franken lost big in the Alabama Senate race
There were two big losers last night as the election returns came in from Alabama. You already know about Judge Roy Moore and the GOP Senate majority, but consider Al Franken. He now is going to be forced to live up to his promise to resign the seat when he spoke on the Senate floor and refused to admit having done anything wrong.
It was obvious then to all who have observed Franken over the years that this was a P.R. ploy and that once Roy Moore was seated in the Senate after his presumed election, Franken was going to stay in the Senate and pose as a righteous fighter for the female of the species. Franken loves being a big-shot senator and is known for throwing his weight around.
But now that Judge Moore will not be traveling to the U.S. Capitol as anything other than a tourist, poor Al is left holding the bag, with no plausible reason to renege on his promise to resign in the coming weeks.
Even worse for Al, Minnesota's governor, Mark Dayton, is set to announce today the replacement for Franken, even though he hasn't formally resigned.
From the Star Tribune:
Gov. Mark Dayton will announce his choice to replace Sen. Al Franken at a Wednesday news conference, according to a statement from his office.
Franken announced last week his intention to resign after allegations of improper conduct toward more than half a dozen women.
The Wednesday news conference will end days of speculation about whom Dayton would send to Washington and also whether the person intends to run for the office or be a caretaker until the special election in Nov. 2018.
According to Minnesota Public Radio, who had some of the first reports about Franken's resignation, five likely choices for Franken's replacement are Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, Attorney General Lori Swanson, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), State Senator Melissa Franzen, or Alan Page, a former Minnesota Supreme Court justice. If Ellison were appointed, he would be the first Muslim member of the Senate.
If Dayton appoints Ellison, he will gain plaudits from progressives. But he may also hand the Senate seat to a Republican. Former senator Norm Coleman, whom Franken defeated on the basis of votes found in a car trunk, is said to be anxious for a shot at returning to the Senate. Outside his Minneapolis congressional district, with a large Somali population, Ellison does not hold a lot of appeal.
As for Franken, he will be seeking whatever comfort he can find.