Klobuchar Call

I'm on a conference call right now with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar who's announcing her endorsement of Barack Obama. In an interesting effort to change the tone of the campaign, she started out by emphasizing that she believes the "Democratic Party is truly blessed this year with two presidents who would each be a strong president" and declined an invitation from David Corn to condemn Clinton for continuing her campaign. She just likes Obama better. In particular, she says Obama "has inspired an enthusiasm and idealism that we haven't seen in this country in a long time" and recalls that back in 2006, Obama "came to Minnesota several times during my own campaign for the senate and even then we saw the incredible enthusiasm he could generate."

In terms of specific issues, she spoke about Obama's leadership on ethics reform following the 2006 election. She recalled that she "actually spoke with Barack" about the issue on the phone as she was driving across country to Washington after the election "and talked about ethics reform and then got a bunch of freshman senators together on a conference call" on the issue. A lot of the Democrats who won in '06 regarded ethics issues as having been crucial to their victory and were frustrated by the fact that many longstanding Democratic legislators weren't so keen on pushing it later. Obama, as someone who'd just been elected in the previous cycle, helped build bridges across that divide and make sure that something happened. Klobuchar also noted Obama's work on the risks of lead in kids' toys as "just another example of where he took on an issue that was ahead of its time."