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Minnesota Supreme Court Declares Franken Winner in U.S. Senate Race

"A lot of people have been sort of saying, 'You should really study Hillary's model of being a senator,' " Franken said. "She worked across party lines, wasn't grabbing the microphone."

Before his Senate bid, Franken had gained a reputation as a sharply partisan and acerbic Democrat who mocked Republicans but sometimes worried Democrats with his fiery commentaries on television and radio. After leaving "Saturday Night Live" in 1995, he wrote books, including "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot" and "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right," and hosted a show on the liberal Air America network.

But he largely downplayed his humor, temper and partisan background in his two-year campaign against Coleman, whom he repeatedly linked to President George W. Bush. Franken said little publicly during the post-election legal process, with an eye toward winning over the 57 percent of Minnesota voters who backed either Coleman or independent candidate Dean Barkley in the Nov. 4 vote.

A few days after the election, Coleman led the race by 206 votes out of almost 3 million cast, but a statewide recount that lasted until January found that after counting absentee ballots that had been improperly excluded, Franken was ahead by 225 votes.

Coleman filed a formal contest of the election in January, resulting in a two-month-long trial at which more absentee ballots were counted, and Franken emerged with a 312-vote lead. Coleman appealed the district court's decision in April.

Yesterday, Coleman acknowledged that Minnesotans were ready to move past the drama.

"The election of November, that was a long time ago; 2008 is over," he said.


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