June 7th, 2008
01:58 PM ET
7 years ago

Minnesota Democratic Party endorses Al Franken

Former comic Al Franken

Former comic Al Franken

(CNN) - Former comedian Al Franken, whose bid for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota was threatened by controversy over jokes from his past, won a crucial endorsement from the state Democratic party Saturday.

The DFL Convention endorsed Franken unanimously on the first ballot in Rochester, Saturday, after rival Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer conceded the vote to him and urged the party to unanimously back him. Nelson-Pallmeyer’s withdrawal means Franken will likely not face a major primary challenger, and will be expected to face Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman in November.

The former "Saturday Night Live" writer drew criticism from political rivals in recent weeks for off-color jokes during his career, including an essay in “Playboy” Magazine a decade ago.

In his speech before the state convention, Franken told the crowd, “I’ve had some tough conversations this week. 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”

He said, “I’m sorry for that. Because that’s not who I am”.

Franken apologized for the content of some of his material in the past, saying “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 Washington who could afford to feel a little less comfortable.”


Filed under: Al Franken
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Sean

    Good news, he really was the strongest candidate and it looks quite hopeful that he'll prevail in the general. To the writer of the angry comments above; if Al Franken's problems have taught us anything it's that there's a time and a place.

    It used to be a choice, now it's policy. So get behind it.

    June 7, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. Paul

    Another comedian should fit in well with the Democratic party just at the moment. This can't be the party of John Kennedy. Sort out your primary issues, then unite behind Obama. One day there will be a woman president, but it has to be a reformer, not one of the old school. When the right one comes along, I'll vote for her. Promise.

    June 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. johnny

    Go Al

    June 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. Obama Supporter

    @ Clinton Supporter, you forgot to change your name to Republican supporter; you fool!!! LOL

    June 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. Ric Lewis

    What is it with people demanding 'credentials' for cadidates of public office when every credential required is listed in the U.S.Constitutaion and individual State Constitutions? Why require a politician to be a particular religion, race, gender, etc., when the rules specifically give prerequisites and conditions already? If we demand that our President be an expert on every facet of government then we would be better off electing a Yeoman Petty Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard as our leader. Their qualifications soar far above an oil tycoon or lawyer when it comes to government beauracracies and departmental politics. Yep. We Need a Yeoman for President – preferably a Coastie.
    Cordially,
    One man from Arkansas,
    One Veteran,
    One Yeoman.

    June 7, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. Daniel

    Ben Staton, you must be far left liberal. Do you known who is Franken? He is not fit to be our senator. I will vote for Norm Coleman with my friends. I cannot allow our state to go to liberal democrats. Never.

    June 7, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. Wayne

    Hey "Clinton Supporter", did you by any chance listen to Hillary's speech...She's supporting Obama because he represent her values far more than McCain does. Time to stop the breath holding, foot stomping and name calling.

    June 7, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. Gillis

    No surprise there. But that's an upgrade from Jesse Ventura

    June 7, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. umm

    If you have read any of Franken's books, you would understand that he is very knowledgeable in regards to Washington politics and would be an amazing Senator. He has written about the corruption in Washington (even before it became public) and I'm glad to see him run.

    And, "no credentials?" Many of the people with the most "credentials" and the longest Washington records voted to authorize the War in Iraq. A lot of good experience does, right?

    June 7, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. Move on

    CLINTON SUPPORTER......... ...Golly, another boy wannabe with no credentials. How did that happen? Could it be Obama opened the door? Just close the DOOR........HRC does not deserve all of the negative supporters If you don't like the GUY don' t VOTE for him

    June 7, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. KateyGreen

    Is Al Franken the best of the Democratic Party in Minnesota? I guess anybody with enough money can buy a Democratic Party nomination in Minnesota

    June 7, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. J. Francisco Anguiano

    Go Al Franken! Cloisure proof Democratic U.S. Congress.

    June 7, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. scott

    Dont laugh america. we voted in Jesse also and it wasnt really that bad. and if you no Norm Colemans political veiws he was why worse then McCain could ever be as far as a puppet for BUSh. this guy was a Dem and changed to REP after he was voted into the mayors office talk about a scumbag. GO AL

    June 7, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. John, London

    @ Clinton supporter.

    You are a REPUBLICAN. We know people like you from miles away. Give it up.
    Stop dishonouring the good name of Clinton.

    Democrat 08,12, and forever.

    June 7, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. andy k

    yea. Obama opened the door and set a precedence. Who needs experience to run for public office where you'll be making decisions that will affect millions of lives? his nomination and possible presidency is telling all those young people out there – you don't need to work hard. just work on sounding nice and listen to a lot of good speeches and copy the best ones and you'll go to the top in no time.

    June 7, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. Chris from MN

    Al Franken for Senate '08

    June 7, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. Mark Kahle

    Gee Clinton Supporter (if thats what you truly are, and not a republican in sheeps clothing)...

    We wouldn't want politics as usual would we?....its time to change Washington, and its time more people stand up and get involved...

    If it means "less experienced" as you put it, so be it, we have all seen what "Experienced" politicians have done ...and its not good...!!

    Note also, that "experienced" candidates had to start somewhere, meaning they at one time did not have the "experience" and had to get it by doing the job....

    I love these republicans coming in here to divide us, Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos hoping to divide us...ITS NOT WORKING....

    and for those of you falling prey to it, they are making you look like fools...time to educate yourselves...and goto his website to see what he is doing..

    June 7, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. rosco

    Yo, Clinton Supporter:
    Get it right. Know your facts. Obama's a life-long public servant entering his prime. Get on the bus.

    June 7, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  19. sean

    what credentials are you supposed to have to be allowed to take part in democracy?
    maybe he should have been a failed sports team owner.
    he is a bad actor so he has the Regan credentials sown up.

    June 7, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. After further review,Texas

    Colman is a scumbag.

    June 7, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. Susan Townsend

    Writing funny, sometimes crude jokes is how he made his living. Could what you do to earn your income come back to slap you in the bum?

    In my humble opinion, after hearing about some of the dopes we have in government, being a good comedy writer is a more difficult task. Maybe he is over-qualified!

    June 7, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Bayou Joe

    The Democratic party is a laugh. This would be funny but our country is in need of good leaders and no one showed up during this election.

    Have no fear. Obama will end the war. Obama will reduce pollution. Obama will provide jobs for everyone. Obama will educate all children.
    Obama will provide Health care to all Americans. Obama will pave all our highways and rebuild America"s bridges. Obama will lower our taxes. Obama will open our borders and eliminate the immigration service. Obama will bring our gas prices down to .50 per gallon.

    hail hail the saviour of our land. Go Obama. Hail the new King.

    June 7, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. douadavid, PA (Hillary supporter).

    I hope that Minesota democrat will vote for Al but not Barack. Please join my new democrat party for John Mcain .We , all Americans, owed him and his family a great sacrifice that his grandpa , his dad , and he put their life on the line in Worid War II , Korea war , and Vietnam War to give us freedom to live happily in this great country. Now is the time for us to pay back and vote for our Hero John Mcain.
    Long live Future President Jonh Mcain.

    June 7, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. ted

    ****
    ________US snapshot since DEMOCRAT CONTROL 06
    ________and Bush Lame Duck:

    ________ UNEMPLOYMENT RAMPANT AND GROWING

    ________GASOLINE PRICES DOUBLED AND CLIMBING

    ________VOTERS TOSSED FROM THEIR HOMES

    ________NEW TAXES PROPOSED

    ________NEW SPENDING BILLS PROPOSED

    ________CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL RATING
    ***********************_ 10 %_****************************

    ________labeled ; THE DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS

    ________EXPECT MORE OF THE SAME.........................

    June 7, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. KAREN BOWMAN

    WHY NOT I AM SURE CNN & JACK WILL MAKE SURE HE WINS.

    June 7, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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