8:04 AM, Mar 12, 2008 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
On Monday, trial lawyer Mike Ciresi bowed out of the contest to become the Democratic challenger for Minnesota senator Norm Coleman's seat. Al Franken is poised to win the nomination and perhaps the general election. The most recent Rasmussen poll showed Franken leading Coleman 49 percent to 46 percent.
Yet Franken still has one obstacle to winning the Democratic nomination: Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, a little-known professor of "Justice and Peace Studies" at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Nelson-Pallmeyer has raised less than $300,000, while Franken has banked more than $7 million. In this video, Nelson-Pallmeyer says that climate change is "the gravest security threat to this country in the world." He adds: "I read the intergovernmental panel on climate change report last spring. I cried for an hour [and] went for a long walk."
So does Franken have the nomination wrapped up? Probably. But the nominee will be elected by only about 1,400 delegates to the Democratic-Farm-Labor state convention in June, and who knows if Nelson-Pallmeyer can't pull off an upset. After all, Franken has an even longer trail of embarrassing statements. Check out, for instance, this clip of his debate with Ann Coulter. After Coulter states that liberals oppose directing "airport security to give an extra little look at swarthy men boarding airplaines," Franken replies: "Bullshit. Bullshit. That is such baloney, Ann."
Statements like that and others might not mesh so well with Minnesota nice. While a Franken nomination would be a bonanza for Republican fundraisers, his loss to an unknown professor who cries about global warming could send the dispirited conservatives into endless fits of Frankenfreude .