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Klobuchar Endorses Obama

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), shown here at a 2007 news conference on Capitol Hill, has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). (Getty Images.)

By Shailagh Murray
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota announced this morning that she was endorsing Sen. Barack Obama, the latest prominent superdelegate to climb off the fence for the Illinois senator.

Klobuchar, a freshman, had been reluctant to publicly reject Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, even though Obama had easily won her state in Feb. 5. In a statement, she compared him to homestate icon Hubert Humphrey, lauding Obama's "different voice, bringing a new perspective and inspiring a real excitement from the American people."

She said her decision reflected Obama's success in Minnesota as well as "my own independent judgment about his abilities."

Campaigning across Pennsylvania by bus, Obama is taking a new approach to engaging with Clinton, urging her to continue campaigning as long as she wants while asserting that their 15-month battle is "historic" and would do no lasting damage. The magnanimous approach is a stark contrast to the growing frustration expressed by Obama supporters like Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who are eager for Clinton the quit the race, so the party can pivot to general election mode. But it could make it easier for Obama to mend fences with Clinton supporters, when and if he becomes the nominee.

"This has been a great contest. Great for America," Obama told a rally in State College on Sunday. "It's engaged and involved people like never before. I think it's terrific that Sen. Clinton's supporters have been as passionate as my supporters have been, because that means that people are invested and engaged in this process. And I am absolutely confident that when this primary season is all over, Democrats will be united, because we understand what's at stake in this election."

Obama also is beginning to hone his case against Sen. John McCain, portraying the Arizona Republican and presumptive GOP nominee as "clinging to the past," while offering himself as the stronger contrast, with generational overtones.

"So the question we have to ask ourselves is, how are we going to debate John McCain?" Obama said in State College. "Do we want to debate John McCain with somebody who agree with him on the war in Iraq? Do we want to debate John McCain about who's been in Washington longer? Because that's a debate John McCain is going to win."

He continued, "As soon as this nomination is settled, we will be unified because we understand that we are not going to be clinging to the policies of the past. We are the party of the future. We don't want to look backwards. We are marching forward."

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 31, 2008; 9:36 AM ET
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