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For Norm Coleman, a Juicy Steak on a Sour Night

So, where does a guy go when he loses his Senate seat to a comedian?

To eat a big juicy steak at the Capital Grille, of course.

And that's exactly what Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) did last night after Democratic challenger Al Franken, of Saturday Night Live fame, declared himself the winner of the zaniest Senate race of the cycle. But even though Franken's 225-vote lead was certified by the state's Canvassing Board, Franken won't be sworn in today as the next senator from Minnesota on account of Coleman's planned court challenge. (Democratic leaders have backed off their vow of yesterday to seat Franken, who has decided to stay in Minnesota and let Roland Burris be the only sideshow as the circus gets underway on Capitol Hill today.)

Just as it appeared the Senate seat was slipping from his grasp, Coleman dined at the Capital Grille on Pennsylvania Avenue with Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, one of the senator's regular steak dinner pals, and uber GOP lobbyist Wayne Berman.

"Norm looked as though it was a regular night," says our informant, who has seen Coleman and Brooks dining together before at the Cap Grille. "You would not have guessed that he just lost his Senate seat."

Or has he lost his Senate seat? Coleman is still fighting. He plans to file an election contest lawsuit today preventing Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty from officially certifying Franken's election. And when the contest is finally resolved and that empty chair on the floor of the Senate can be filled is anyone's guess.

Reached by phone, Brooks tells the Sleuth that Coleman was in "very good spirits" last night despite the "surreal" recount that has thrown the senator's future into the twilight zone. Brooks says Coleman feels "nobody can take any confidence in the results so far," what with hundreds of absentee ballots not counted, the inclusion of allegedly double counted votes and "so much ambiguity."

"Now it's up to the courts," says Coleman's buddy.

In the meantime, there's nothing like a porterhouse steak and good friends to carry the senator through these dark and uncertain days.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  January 6, 2009; 10:10 AM ET
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Isn't it Ironic that the man who chided Franken for forcing a re-count is now a big fat loser? I guess Norm Coleman will now be forced to merely change the channel when he sees something on TV he disapproves of. History's dustbin, meet Norm Coleman.

Posted by: madest | January 6, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Bush won before the Supreme Court in 2000, so maybe Coleman can win that way now. At least that's what he's thinking. But, in reality, no court is going to overturn the election unless it sees something blatant, so the chances of Coleman winning a lawsuit are slim to none (despite the nonsensical blatherings of the Wall Street Journal).

Posted by: AndyfromVA | January 6, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

If I were on the losing end of Franken's "found" ballot chicanery, I'd probably have a steak and a couple of bottles of wine for salve as well.

How many more votes than voters do they have now?

Posted by: tonynelson1 | January 6, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

rather interesting too that the Repubs, who regularly make political hay out of trial lawyers, have them lining up to file multiple suits to invalidate the recount.

Posted by: eomcmars | January 6, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The fat lady hasn't sung yet nor the fat a## third commodian sleaze ball Franken

Posted by: ekim53 | January 6, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

its sad how its always the dems who try (and in this case succeed) to cheat their way to victory. talk about sore losers.

as tonynelson1 asks, how many more votes than voters are there? i can't wait until Al Frauden is exposed.

Posted by: adamsmith78 | January 6, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

"Bush won before the Supreme Court in 2000, so maybe Coleman can win that way now. At least that's what he's thinking."

This is what they want the liberal nutjobs to think. There are several glaring election items that the canvassing board said they were not in a position to make the decision on forcing a lawsuit.

I love the 2000 thing. Democrats tried to hand recount ONLY democratic counties over and over hoping for a win. Democrats pushed the lawsuits to SELECTIVELY count votes. The "every vote should count" democratic mantra is a joke when you look at their tactics.

Posted by: Cryos | January 6, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Poor little Al will be running home to mamma like a fat little bullied kindergartner once the real politico's get ahold of him. He's no match for the professionals in Washington. On the other hand, us Minnesotans deserve someone like him when we can send a record number of voters to the polls and can't come up with a clear winner. We are now the laughing stock of the nation. sigh.......

Posted by: joe_baby | January 6, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

For those of you looking for some context, here is a ballot being challenged by Franken:

I'm sure Coleman has similar challenges, but the point is that the process is broken and injecting people into the process just f%$ks it up.

Posted by: tonynelson1 | January 6, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I haven't lived in Minnesota for many years, but both democrats and republicans have represented the state over time. It's a little odd to me that the swing of one senate seat is such a cause for ire on the part of the right. The election was close, and Minnesota law required the recount. Now the recount is complete and it was fair and open to scrutiny. So Al Franken won. I think republicans folks (and Coleman) just need to deal with it. It's not the end of times. It's the result of a hard-fought campaign. What none of the panicked right-wingers care to consider is that Al Franken is going to have to serve everyone (democrat, republican and independent) in Minnesota, and if he does a bad job, he'll have to face the chance that he'll get voted out just like Coleman was. If he does a good job by the people of Minnesota, they'll keep him in. That's it, folks. Move along. There's nothing to see here.

Posted by: ninjagin | January 6, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

It is a sad day in America, whether your Democrat or Republican, when elections are determined by federal judges instead of the will of the people.

Posted by: rogden71 | January 6, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Imagine the different media spin if things were reversed. It would be Coleman "disenfranchising voters" and "not counting all the votes."

I love how the media doesn't present the fact that Coleman tried resolving some of these issues with the canvassing board but the board said it had to go to court.

How is not establishing standards for absentee ballots fair?

Posted by: Cryos | January 6, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

*sigh* If you read the WSJ piece about the recount, you were treated to the worst pile of journalistic garbage I have read in the last few weeks. There were no more votes than voters, that is blatantly false and not even Coleman asserts this. The "double voting" fiasco has no real evidence, and even if it were true it was a mistake amounting to only 50ish votes for Franken, which didn't end up making a difference.

Coleman's 650 magic ballots he thinks were improperly rejected were hand picked Republican votes, the exact "recount until you win" strategy many of you claim Democrats try. His lawyers had a day in court, and when asked for a single ballot they could prove was improperly rejected they couldn't produce even one. Those ballots have all been tossed out at least twice and some three times for various legitimate reasons (many were either double votes or unsigned), and Coleman's exact language were that they were "possibly valid" votes. Essentially he wants to take PROPERLY rejected Republican ballots and investigate each one individually to see if they were only superficially screwed up, while ignoring the other 11000 PROPERLY rejected ballots that likely don't favor him. The entire thing is hot air to cast a shadow over Franken, and will fail.

Coleman losing the recount was a statistically likely outcome, and is not a sign of corruption on the part of anyone. If your only legitimate gripe in all of this is that Franken won and you don't like Democrats, then please go pout in silence. Remember how much good Democratic whining in 2000 did? Thats right, zero. In a year that Republicans desperately need to be making a new image displays like this are not going to help.

Posted by: Laughing | January 6, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else see Mary Ann on
tv, last night.

Yikes... she is creepier than

I wonder if she will be shown the
door, now that most of the
Neo-Conservatives are fading into
the history books of failure.

Posted by: theman_in_black | January 6, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Dear Minnesota,
Stop annoying us.
The Rest of the World

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | January 6, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Of the sad things about this is when people resort to name calling and character assassination instead debating the case and issues. Is this not childish reversion to least common denominator shallowness?
Can we grow up and crawl out of the sandbox and talk issues? No one has a monopoly on virtue. Millions on the 'opposing side' are not ignorant or brazenly corrupt. To act like it is always one way demonising is, in my humble opinion, either ignorant or uninformed.

Posted by: Bushlegacylies | January 6, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Another Born Again Loser Serial Killing Mass Murdering War Criminal Moron Con Econ Terrorist.

Send the War Criminals to the Intl Criminal Court for War Crimes.

Enablers of War Criminals are War Criminals, too. Have fun in Eternal Hell, Killers!

Posted by: MoronCons | January 6, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Another Born Again Loser Serial Killing Mass Murdering War Criminal Moron Con Econ Terrorist.

Send the War Criminals to the Intl Criminal Court for War Crimes.

Enablers of War Criminals are War Criminals, too. Have fun in Eternal Hell, Killers!

Posted by: MoronCons | January 6, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The fat lady hasn't sung yet nor the fat a## third commodian sleaze ball Franken
I'm not fat, I'm big boned! But I'm singing loud. Go home Normie! It's over, slither away now...

Posted by: md83 | January 6, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

GOOD BYE NORM! HAHAHA all of you who hate Al. I am from MN and not a huge Franken fan but Norm was a complete opportunistic phony...hmmm...maybe that's why he switched parties!

Let the gloating BEGIN!

Posted by: KKinMpls | January 6, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The Borgen Project has informative statistics on addressing global poverty.

$30 billion ends world hunger
$550 billion is the US Defense budget

This organization has the ability, resources, and policy-makers to suppress the threat of global poverty by enacting legislation here in the US, which is tied to the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals. Please support organizations such as The Borgen Project so that we may rid the world of poverty.

Posted by: atsegga | January 6, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Coleman is a sore loser. Al Franken is so much smarter than Coleman, thank God Coleman lost!! We are all so happy in the Democratic party, and it's been so much fun watching you Republicans squirm, somewhere right now Bill O'Reilly is having a nervous breakdown over this one!

Break out the party hats and Champagne!

Franken for President !!!

Posted by: Hillary08 | January 6, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Tee hee.

Posted by: Dolmance | January 6, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

They counted and recounted and Coleman won both. Not until they started this underhanded BS of challenging ballots and what seems to be double counting ballots did Franken somehow end up ahead. This stinks of theft. Of course all the democraps are happy with the results so they go "you lost get over it blah blah blah" eat sh!t. Coleman didnt lose, they just recounted and played with the votes until they got the result they wanted.

Posted by: THEBULL1 | January 6, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

If Al Frankin gets in as Senator of Minnestoa, then it is a sad statement on the political process of this nation.
In addition, he represents the beginning of the end of moral values.

Posted by: jtstack | January 6, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

A bigger concern is how will Congress respond to the United Nation's Millenium Development Goals, which aim to cut world hunger in half by 2015 and eliminating it completely by 2025. An estimated $19 billion would eliminate malnutrition and starvation around the world. Our current defense budget is $522 billion, in comparison.

The Borgen Project ( provides lots of information about this issue.

Posted by: alenka | January 7, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

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