Editorial, Rochester Post-Bulletin

Amy Klobuchar made a prediction this week on when she might have a partner from Minnesota in the U.S. Senate.

"By the time the ice melts on Lake Minnetonka," she said during a visit with the P-B's editorial board on Tuesday.

For those who aren't fishermen or snowmobilers, that's usually about the middle of April.

In the meantime, Klobuchar is perhaps the busiest member of Congress while she waits for the legal dust to settle in the contest between Democrat Al Franken and Republican Norm Coleman.

She jokes that she's proud to serve as both the senior and junior senator from Minnesota and that, "There's not a whole lot of friction in our Senate delegation right now."

We're glad Klobuchar has been able to maintain a sense of humor about her unique position as the North Star State's lone senator. But the dilemma facing her and Minnesota's 5 million residents is no laughing matter.

She said the workload for her staff has roughly doubled since January when Coleman's office was shut down. That includes everything from dealing with international adoption and passport issues to Veterans' and Social Security benefit snafus.

Then there are the more highly visible aspects of her job, such as introducing legislation and participating in discussions and hearings as a member of the Judiciary, Commerce, Environment and Agriculture committees.

We've been impressed with the job Klobuchar has done so far, despite her status as one of the Senate's junior members, both in terms of age (at 48, she's the eighth youngest of the 99 senators) and tenure of service (she has just begun the third year of her first term).

The Democrat appears to have the ear of the Obama administration, and she's well-versed on issues affecting all sectors of the state.

But she can't do it alone. Minnesota deserves and needs two senators.

Klobuchar says she doesn't quarrel with former Sen. Norm Coleman's decision to pursue legal action disputing the Minnesota Canvassing Board's decision declaring Franken the winner of the Senate race by a tiny 215-vote margin.

However, she says Minnesota would be best served by a relatively speedy end to the legal wrangling.

"I hope that after the three-judge (appeals) panel issues its ruling, and if the vote margin doesn't change much, that that's the end of it," she said.

So do we. Minnesotans are a patient people. We have to be to endure anywhere from three to five months of winter and to wait at least four weeks between ice-out and the walleye opener. But if we still don't have two senators by Memorial Day, we'll have a pretty good excuse to get cranky.