I’ve had a soft spot for Norm Coleman since 1998, when I accidentally crashed his election night party. I just happened to be in St. Paul with a coworker, and we were wandering down the street looking for a bar to hang out in, when we saw something better: a glitzy hotel ballroom packed with expectant campaign workers and volunteers and… free beer! So we stayed.
It was kind of fun trying to figure out whose party we’d crashed, because at first it wasn’t obvious. Eventually we figured out that it was Republican beer we were drinking, and not long after that Coleman himself arrived, and passed three feet from me as he moved through the crowd, surrounded by TV lights, on his way to the podium to thank the saddened throng and concede the governorship to Jesse Ventura.
Anyway, since then I’ve always paid a little more attention to Norm Coleman; I figure it’s the least I can do. So I liked this item from Kevin Drum, which points out the opportunity we have to conduct a scientific experiment on the question of which sort of organism Norm Coleman is: patriot seeking to serve the nation, or hack seeking to serve the party at the nation’s expense: Coleman’s appeal.
So here’s something to watch for: how long will it take Coleman to file his appeal? He’s known this decision was coming for a long time. His legal team almost certainly knew the grounds on which he was going to lose. They’ve had plenty of time to prepare their argument. They could probably file it tomorrow if they wanted to.
But do they want to? If they’re genuinely trying to win a Senate seat, they’ll file quickly. After all, the faster they file, the faster Coleman can win the case and return in triumph to Washington. But if they don’t think they can win — if they’re merely trying to stretch out a losing argument as long as possible in order to deny Franken his seat — then they’ll wait the ten full days. Which do you think it will be?
I know which way I’m betting.