Al Franken Declares Al Franken Winner in Election Recount

Congratulations to U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken, who has overcome his narrow Election Day deficit to claim victory in Minnesota over Republican incumbent Norm Coleman. According to Al Franken.

As well as, we guess, no less an American political authority than People, which this morning points us to this update on Franken's Web site:

[Today], the State Canvass Board completes an important step in this recount process: the board will wrap up its challenge review process. At that time, the Franken campaign expects that Al Franken will lead Norm Coleman by between 35 and 50 votes, meaning we will be on track to win the election. To be ahead at this point in the process bolsters what we have said all along: that once all the votes are counted Al Franken will be the next Senator from Minnesota. Today we are more confident than ever that Al Franken will be the winner of this election.

Coleman naturally begs to differ, planning a Supreme Court visit today to challenge 49 votes that his campaign says were double-counted. The AP also has reservations, reporting the Minnesota secretary of state's insistence that "there is no way the board will certify a winner this year" pending its next meeting on Jan. 5. Congress convenes on Jan. 6, meanwhile — plenty of time for Franken to preemptively move into his new office at the Capitol and get a "Presumptive Minnesota Senator Needs Secretary ASAP" ad on Washington DC Craigslist before Coleman or his new colleagues have a chance to overturn the comedian's decision. Many congrats to him.