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Sen. Franken’s map-drawing talents questioned: Where are Alaska and Hawaii?

You’ll get a kick out of the Politico item about Sen. Al Franken’s map-drawing talent.

Apparently the junior Senator from Minnesota can draw the continental United States free-hand, almost perfectly. But he doesn’t include Alaska or Hawaii. (You can see him draw the states in the video below.)

So Alaska Sen. Mark Begich hears about this, and sends Franken a letter asking for his state, and Hawaii, to be included, (concluding with a P.S.: “Don’t forget Little Diomede Island (You can see Russia from there).”

Franken’s response, via Anne Schroeder Mullins’ article:

“Please allow me to explain why I don’t include Alaska and Hawaii in my impressive free-hand map of the United States,” Franken begins.

Apparently the puzzle his parents gave him as a child didn’t include Hawaii or Alaska. Moreover, “it wasn’t until years later, sometime in the early to mid-sixties I believe, that Hawaii and Alaska became full-fledged members of the union,” Franken writes. “Please know that I have assigned a staffer to get me the hard data on this.”

Franken contiues to explain, his rationale. “To include Alaska and Hawaii, while certainly common-sensical, would, I’m afraid, dishonor the memory of both my mom and dad.

“However since you are a colleague this is a sacrifice I’m only too happy to make,” he says. 
And then Franken did what he could to appease his pal, Mark Begich, and drew the United States with Al
aska and Hawaii “from memory.”

The senator’s artistic ability is better than his history: Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the union in 1959.

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 08/11/2009 - 12:05 pm.

    The story is silly, but the video is great. In about three minnutes it shows how Al Franken impressed people, got the nomination and eventually won. It is clever, smart and funny.

  2. Submitted by Matt Linngren on 08/11/2009 - 12:21 pm.

    You’ve gotta love the title on the video… “Al Franken Draws The United State of America”… not only is there no Alaska or Hawaii, we’re all just one big state I guess!

  3. Submitted by Randi Reitan on 08/11/2009 - 12:31 pm.

    We were at many events where Sen. Franken drew that great map and I loved it every time …. but not one where it went for just $200. Wish we had been at that event. Still want a map … with or without Hawaii and Alaska.

    This video brought back good memories of Sen. Franken’s campaign … you can see he truly loved what he was doing and he reached out to everyone with wit and kindness.

  4. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 08/11/2009 - 12:46 pm.

    Forget Alaska and Hawaii. I want to see Sen. Franekn draw Obama’s 51’s state.

  5. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 08/11/2009 - 05:28 pm.

    That would be rather difficult Swiftee, as it would represent your “state of mind”.

    Thank you…. thank you very much….
    I’ll be here all week……

  6. Submitted by Jane McWilliams on 08/11/2009 - 08:20 pm.

    After chatting with coffee lovers at Goodbye Blue Monday in Northfield last spring, Franken visited art store Sketchy Artist and demonstrated his map making talent – if I recall, it took him almost 10 minutes. No one mentioned whether Hawaii was overlooked, but we were impressed by his approachability AND his skill with a pencil.

  7. Submitted by Susan Hansen on 08/12/2009 - 07:34 pm.

    Gotta tell you from an Alaskan’s point of view.
    I think if you leave out Alaska as part of the USA you don’t get a vote on what happens here.

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