I observed the DFL convention in Rochester. I also talked with a number of people about the Franken endorsement and the effect of the Playboy article and his history of joking about rape had on the endorsement. Rebecca Otto told me that sort of humor was not her "cup of tea", but stated it was satire, and that the joke about Leslie Stahl getting drugged and raped was written by another writer, not Franken, and they discussed this and decided not to go with it. She also mentioned Alice Walker's Color Purple which described incest and rape, and that was concidered a feminist work. Otto continues to enthusiasticly support Al Franken.
Al Franken's speech did directly address the elephant in the room:
It kills me that things I said and wrote sent a message to some of my friends in this room and people in this state that they can't count on me to be a champion for women, a champion for ALL Minnesotans, in this campaign and in the Senate.
And for 35 years I was a writer. I wrote a lot of jokes. Some of them weren't funny. Some of them were inappropriate. Some of them were downright offensive.
I understand that.
And I understand that the people of Minnesota deserve a Senator who won't say things that make them uncomfortable.
But I'm in this race because there are some people in Washinton who could afford to feel a little less comfortable.
He went on to go after Norm Coleman's record.
I talked to another friend of mine, who has many inside connections in the DFL, who mentioned a number of legislative candidates will be distancing themselves from Al Franken during their campaigns. It will be interesting to see who will have joint lit drops with Al Franken.
During the 2006 campaign, many volunteers for the DFL would quietly remove Hatch literature from their lit drops. I think this was partially responsible for Hatch's poor performance.
I talked to both Susan Gaertner and Tom Bakk. Bakk is thinking of running for governor, and Gaertner is definitely running.