It was a tale of two star crossâ€™d senators from different sides of the political aisle. Their bipartisanship might not have been quite so epic as Shakespeareâ€™s Montagues and Capulets, but Democrat Amy Klobuchar and Republican Norm Coleman sometimes raised eyebrows â€“ if not daggers — in their respective parties.Â In the days after the 35W tragedy, for example, they seemed inseparable in the press of daily news conferences, to the political benefit of both.
On Thursday, Klobuchar joined a parade of pols who took to the Senate floor to laud their departed colleague, who came up 312 votes short in his reelection bid against DFLer Al Franken.Â â€œSenator Coleman made a very difficult decision,â€ Klobuchar said, â€œand he did it with such grace.â€
In a distinct break with recent Democratic Party orthodoxy, Klobuchar also offered this: â€œHe could have appealed that (Minnesota Supreme Court) decision. He could have gone to federal court. It was his right. But he made a decision which he felt was best for the state of Minnesota, and the state thanks him for that. I personally thank him for that.â€Â Klobuchar went on to give a sympathetic rendering of Colemanâ€™s political career, crediting him as the guy who, as St. Paul mayor, â€œbrought hockey back to Minnesota.â€
To be sure, she mentioned some of the lowlights as well, including Colemanâ€™s 1998 gubernatorial defeat to Jesse Ventura, whom, she recalled, Coleman once described as a guy â€œwhose previous career highlight was being killed by an alien creature in the movie â€˜Predator.â€™â€Â She also recalled fondly how Coleman had reached out to her when she came to the Senate two years ago, and how hard they worked together. â€œWe basically got along from the moment I started to the end of his term as a senator,â€ she said.Â Just as striking, she suggested Minnesota might not have seen the last of Coleman. â€œNorm hit the ground running,â€ she said, â€œand he hasnâ€™t stopped.â€
No ancient grudges in fair Verona.