10 Years Later, Kahn Defends Eulogy For Wellstone

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many people say it was his speech that turned a memorial service into a political rally, but Rick Kahn says he just spoke from the heart.

A decade after the plane crash that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone, his wife, daughter and three others, Kahn joined WCCO Radio’s Chad Hartman to remember the fiery politician.

“We see a lot people run for office for all kinds of reasons, good and bad,” Kahn said. “But I can say with certainty for Paul, it was never about ego, it was never about having power or prestige.”

Days after the crash, an event was held at Williams Arena that was supposed to be a memorial service for Sen. Wellstone and the other victims. But the tone of the service quickly turned into more of a political rally.

Political observers have speculated on the impact the backlash from the service had on the election. Norm Coleman, who’d been challenging Wellstone, went on to beat Walter Mondale, who took Wellstone’s spot on the ballot.

As for what impact his speech had, Kahn says he’ll leave that up to others.

“There are moments in your life when you just have to stand up and say what’s in your heart, and I did that,” he said.

WCCO’s Chad Hartman interviews Rick Kahn.

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