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Hot Dish Politics

Tracking Minnesota’s political scene and keeping you up-to-date on those elected to serve you

Minnesota DFLers kick things off in Philly

Sen. Amy Klobuchar promised DFLers in Pennsylvania for the Democratic National Convention this week, where Hillary Clinton will officially step up as the party's nominee, would set a far different tone than the Republican National Convention. 

"What a contrast this is going to be with what we saw last week," Klobuchar said Monday morning at a breakfast meeting of the Minnesota delegation, which is staying in suburban Valley Forge, north of convention host Philadelphia. 

Klobuchar noted a famous speech by the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, appealing to the "better angels" of the American people. "Donald Trump last week basically gave a 76-minute rebuttal," she said. 

Minnesota's other U.S. senator, Sen. Al Franken, also slammed Trump's speech. 

"Donald Trump painted a very dark picture of America," Franken said. "It's not an America I'm familiar with."

Both Klobuchar and Franken will speak this week at the convention being held at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center. Other Minnesotans speaking are Gov. Mark Dayton, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison and state Rep. Peggy Flanagan from St. Louis Park. Ellison is also scheduled to speak Monday evening.

Monday night at the convention will feature speeches by Clinton's now-vanquished rival for the nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The start of the convention has been clouded by the resignation of Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz after leaked emails showed her preference for Clinton over Sanders in the race; Minnesota's delegation is tilted toward Sanders after his win in the Minnesota caucus, and many of his supporters here were delighted that she quit. 

Also speaking to delegates Monday morning was Jake Sullivan, a Minneapolis native and Southwest High graduate who is now a senior foreign policy advisor to Clinton's campaign. 

Sullivan said the week's proceedings would be "an upbeat, big-hearted, confident convention -- the exact opposite of the terrible spectacle we saw last week."

Vikings veteran Fran Tarkenton speaks at Republican convention

Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton spoke out for Donald Trump on Thursday night from the stage of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

“I’ve known Donald Trump for 48 years,” said Tarkenton, 76. “And like other leaders I’ve known, he gets stuff done. He’s a builder. He understands teams win, individuals don’t, and he builds great teams.”

Tarkenton, a Virginia native, passed for the Vikings from 1961 to 1966 and again from 1972 to 1978, when he retired. He led the Vikings to three Super Bowls in the 1970s, though they never won one. He won numerous league honors and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.

Tarkenton told the RNC crowd that as an NFL rookie in 1961, he earned just $12,500. To supplement his income he started a small business, which ultimately became a successful software company that he sold in 1994.

“Small business is succeeding not because of government policy but in spite of it,” Tarkenton said.

Tarkenton called out to Vikings fans in Quicken Loans Arena – “Go Vikings!” – before urging support for Trump.

“Let’s go and win this game together,” Tarkenton said. “Together let’s go make America great again.”

At top, in a photo by Stephen Crawley of the New York Times, Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton addresses the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Thursday.