In all the coverage of the US Presidential elections, the other elections over there seemed to have been missed by our excitable hacks, presumably because they're pretty boring. (The elections? The hacks?)
Minnesota is a little different.
You may well recall that this chilly northern state elected Jesse 'The Body' Ventura, an ex-wrestler, for governor in 1999. This was a bold move (especially as Schwarzenegger's California take-over was still 4 years away). Ventura was either a breath of fresh air or incompentant depending on who you ask. That's the trouble with American 3rd parties - they're magnets for cranks.
Ventura was elected on a Reform Party ticket - the party of Ross Perot, the evil billionaire who thought he had a shot at the White House (for which he was duly defeated - massively). But unlike the crazy right wing libertarians of the Perot style, Ventura stayed pretty much off-message, supporting abortion rights, gay rights, medical marijuana and seemed to be pretty positive about improving public transport (which isn't a shocking position to take in most countries, but is in a big empty state where everyone drives).
But its 2008. And what's interesting this time is that the Democrat is satirist and comedian Al Franken. In the last few years, Franken has been involved with Air America radio, a progressive station set up to counter the sheer volume of tosh spewed out by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and that horrendous woman whose name escapes me. Hang on, Ann Coulter - thats the one. Air America also includes Chuck D amongst its presenters, which can't be a bad thing.
Franken also got to the top of the New York Times bestseller list with his hatchet job on Limbaugh 'Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot (and other observations).' I've not read it.
To make things more exciting, there is still no result from Minnesota as its too close to call, and made even more difficult by a third party candidate receiving around 15% of the vote. Its not the Reform Party anymore, its become the Minnesota Independence Party.
As they're on a manual recount, its going to take bloody ages, so we probably won't know for a few days. Come on Al!
*no, not from Al Franken but Jesse Ventura