Franken vs Coleman: the final showdown

The Minnesota Independent posted a contrast piece yesterday on the dueling press conferences that followed from the Supreme Court ruling there that pronounced Al Franken the state’s new senator. The decision came after eight months of recount madness and a series of related lawsuits filed by now-former senator Norm Coleman.

Coleman held his press conference in the backyard of his St Paul home and threatened to call the police on journalists he didn’t want to attend. Franken stood on his front stoop in Minneapolis and laid a table of snacks for the reporters attending.

Coleman’s concession came first, at 3 p.m., staged behind his house on a quiet St. Paul street. Why not on the front steps, as Franken has done at his place several times since Election Day?

For one thing, using the back yard meant Coleman could control who he let in. Reporters from The UpTake standing out front said Coleman’s staff told them he’d call the police unless they left.

Another possible reason: This huge Franken sign in the front yard of the house just two doors down.

(Fortunately for other unwashed journalists, Coleman’s block has an alley, and his backyard has a gate and the gate was open.)

A backyard is an intimate space, where Minnesotans grill and host parties for friends — more rarely for 30 members of the media. At least his visitors had reason for good cheer: Coleman quipped that his long battle had amounted to a “Full Employment Act” for journalists.

In Coleman’s back yard, you couldn’t miss signs of the renovations and additions that made news last fall in light of controversies about Coleman’s campaign and personal finances. No one asked about that during the relatively mild grilling Coleman got from (selected) reporters after his statement.

Score another victory for Al. Read more at TMI.

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About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic | 720-432-2128 |

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