ON MINNESOTA POLITICS. Al Franken has been saying he's going to run for Senate for a while now. (As the aforementioned Minnesota native on staff, I especially love this colorful illustration of Minnesotans depicted as simpletons courtesy the New York Times.) The recent announcement just made it official. I'm going to venture out on a limb and say Franken actually has a shot. Remember, he's running against Norm Coleman, who got elected following Paul Wellstone's tragic death. And Norm Coleman actually used to be a Democrat back when he was elected mayor of St. Paul.

Really, it's going to come down to the DFL nomination, because although outstate Minnesota is fairly conservative, statewide elections are decided mostly by the residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul (overwhelmingly liberal). In fact, I remember Minneapolis' CityPages making the comment once that in Minneapolis, it's the Green Party on the left and the DFL on the right. The fact is, Minnesota suffers from Ralph Nader syndrome. The far-lefties want to give third parties a chance, but it usually screws over the Democrats, as we saw with Tim Pawlenty's re-election. I guess Minnesota needs to look seriously at implementing Instant Runoff Voting.

Don't forget, we're the state that made electing former professional wrestlers cool.

--Kay Steiger

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