Gore, Franken come to campus

Al Franken and Al Gore spoke at the DFL Founder's Day celebration in Northrop Auditorium. Mondale attended.

Ali Haupt

Al Franken and Al Gore spoke at the DFL Founder’s Day celebration in Northrop Auditorium. Mondale attended.

Two well-known AlâÄôs came to Northrop Auditorium Saturday, as Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore campaigned for U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken . The two were the centerpiece of a program that included speeches from almost every elected or endorsed DFL er in the state. The theme of the day seemed to be a call to action, with almost every speaker calling on the estimated 1,500 attendees to get others involved in the election, which falls exactly one month from the event. âÄúYou win by outworking the other guy,âÄù Franken said. âÄúOn Jan. 20, 2009, George W. Bush leaves office. What happens next is up to us.âÄù Gore offered a ringing endorsement of Franken, who in turn called Gore âÄúthe greatest president we should have had.âÄù During his 20-minute speech, Gore took on issues such as Iraq, the economy and climate change, offering a scathing review of both the Bush administration and congressional Republicans. âÄúI’ve gotten to the point, when a new outrage comes along, I’ve got to download some existing outrage to make room for the new outrage,âÄù he said. Since falling to President Bush in the 2000 Presidential Election , Gore has become a leading climate change activist. His documentary, âÄúAn Inconvenient TruthâÄù won the 2007 Best Documentary Academy Award. Gore himself won a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work bringing attention to climate change. âÄúThirty-one days and a few hours from now, we have to have a reckoning,âÄù he said. Franken, a former Saturday Night Live cast member, gave a mostly serious stump speech, but did play up his humor at parts. âÄúI want you to get a bumper sticker and not cut anyone off for the next 31 days,âÄù Franken said. âÄúAfter that, you can do what you like.âÄù The crowd was a mix of young and old, as long-time party members such as former Vice President Walter Mondale joined students to listen to the speakers. Mondale said the DFL party, although more media- and technology-based today, is still a strong political organization. âÄúI think weâÄôre doing very well,âÄù he said. âÄúThe party is different from the one that we had when I was a student here and used to roam around here.âÄù U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar , who introduced Franken, said after the event she hoped Gore would propel FrankenâÄôs popularity on campus. âÄúAl Gore did come to the University of Minnesota right before I won, so I consider him my good luck charm,âÄù she said. âÄúI think he will be the same for Al Franken.âÄù Through his speech, Franken cast himself as an alternative to incumbent U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman . âÄúHeâÄôs not working for us, and I will,âÄù Franken said. College Republicans chairman Abdul Magba-Kamara, who was part of a small group of students holding signs protesting Franken outside Northrop, said he wasnâÄôt sold on FrankenâÄôs message. âÄúIf you want someone to get things done, you donâÄôt want to vote for angry Al Franken,âÄù he said. Pete Noteboom , Students for Al co-chairman, said GoreâÄôs endorsement of Franken shows his support runs deep. âÄúIt indicates that the well-known Democrats in the country are confident in Al,âÄù he said. Franken told an anecdote about former U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone running with his son during cross country meets, willing him on to the finish line by telling him he could take his opponents. âÄúIâÄôm going to take this guy,âÄù Franken said of Coleman. âÄúI need you running alongside me.âÄù