Political Notebook

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Readers spot gaffe in Secret Santa gift to Donnelly

A couple of eagle-eyed readers of Political Notebook noticed an error in the U.S. map that Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., drew for Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., in the Senate’s recent Secret Santa gift exchange.

Political Notebook ran an image of the map online and in Sunday’s Metro section. Franken’s geography appeared to be in order; it was his timing that was off.

Franken signed the map in the bottom right-hand corner, writing under his name: “By hand, from memory 12-17-14.”

Carol Adams and Bruce Cynar sent emails pointing out that Franken got the year wrong.

“While Senator Franken apparently can draw a US map from memory, he does need help with the calendar,” Cynar wrote.

Adams wondered why Political Notebook did not mention the error in our reporting. Well, we didn’t notice it.

“I believe that was a mistake,” Franken’s communications director, Ed Shelleby, said in an email about the mixup in years.

Perhaps Franken is a senator ahead of his time. Many people will continue to write “2013” on checks and other documents after the year change Wednesday, so maybe he was getting a head start on familiarizing himself with the new year.

Or maybe 2013, which has been called the least-productive year in congressional history, is one that Franken and others on Capitol Hill would just like to write off.