Monday, June 22, 2009

Why Won’t Coleman Concede?

What is it, these days about sore losers? Why is it increasingly unlikely to get concession speeches in close elections once the winner is apparent? And no, I do not have Al Gore in mind when I ask this question. No one will ever know who actually won the 2000 presidential election because 5 conservative justices on the US Supreme Court slammed the door on that revelation.

When Harry Truman won in his 1948 re-election campaign, the outcome was so close that newspapers actually went to press with the wrong headlines. But did Tom Dewey hold up the election and go to court to overturn the will of the people (or in that case, the will of the electoral college)?


Or Nixon. Dick Nixon, who had plenty of doubts over the outcome of the 1960 presidential election from areas like Richard Daly’s Chicago, all of West Virginia, and certain Rio Grande Valley precincts that had more ballots cast than people who actually lived there, just went away only to come back as a rebranded vibrant “New Nixon” eight years later.

But now, seemingly, when the race is a close one, the loser puts up a scrape if only to delay the opposition from having an additional vote in whatever legislative body they are running for.

Like Norm Coleman, the loser in Minnesota’s 2008 senatorial contest. We are now half way into the following year and Coleman has successfully kept Senator Al Franken from taking his seat.

But I don’t think that is all of the story.

I think that Norm Coleman holds on because he isn’t just a loser, he is a big time loser – even when he wins.

Like when Norm Coleman lost his bid to be governor of the state of Minnesota.

To a professional wrestler.

To Jesse “The Body” Ventura.

How do you explain that to yourself, or to your wife and kids for that matter?

Then when he did win that Senatorial seat in 2002, it was in a race against a well-beloved fixture in Minnesota politics, Paul Wellstone.

Only because Wellstone, along with family members, died in a plane crash just before the election – which, as it turned out, was a close one despite the fact that his opponent was a corpse.

Not a huge mandate.

With that as prelude, how can Coleman possibly live it down that he was retired from public office by a standup comedian? By “what’s in it for me, Al Franken?” By the guy who played a train baggage handler in the cult movie Trading Places.

No, that is really why Norm Coleman won’t concede. That would be strike three.

And he’s out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Coleman should concede.

Minnesota deserves Al Franken. And I'm sure he will be a fine member of the Democratic Party and someone they will be proud of.