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Author Discusses Key Lessons of Minnesota Recount

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Al Franken's race with Norm Coleman and the ensuing recount are the focus of Jay Weiner's "This Is Not Florida: How Al Franken Won the Minnesota Senate Recount."

“Two days after his rival Ginsberg splashed onto the scene, Elias showed his own stuff in the courtroom. For two months, members of the news media had witnessed his monologues, his staccato repeating of phrases for emphasis, his dramatic use of his big hands to form an imagined globe to describe the size of the ‘universe’ of absentee ballots, or his long arms sweeping the air as if to swat away flies when denigrating” the legal arguments from Coleman’s camp, the author writes.

The book is a stark and straightforward account of key lessons for any campaign to embrace if it finds itself in a recount. These lessons include having a formidable legal team, being aggressive politically, using multimedia skills when on message and having tons of money. The campaigns spent about $40 million combined.

But “there were troubling aspects to the Franken-Coleman recount,” Weiner writes. “This recount was expensive, and there’s something uncomfortable about that.”

In fact, the Franken-Coleman race altered the image of “nice” Minnesotans, perhaps permanently. Weiner suggests that after Republicans’ embarrassing loss, they will not play nice and will fight back with greater vengeance.

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