Michele Bachmann

Smith's Senate odyssey begins with sprint toward November

Just days after being sworn into the U.S. Senate, Tina Smith is on a crash course to find her way in the chamber and find time for a 10-month campaign sprint toward a special election to keep her new job.

The Minnesota Democrat's first weekend back home after replacing Al Franken was a whirlwind of appearances, starting at a suburban manufacturer to talk job training, then up north to Duluth and the Iron Range region to highlight illegal steel dumping, then back to her hometown of Minneapolis.

It's just the start of a nonstop juggling game Smith will need to master to win the November special election against a yet-to-be-determined Republican, balancing the demands of her...