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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Deal Behind Sen. Klobuchar's Endorsement of Obama

Mary Ann Akers, Washington Post

Been wondering what superdelegates are getting in return for their recent presidential endorsements? Well, in the case of Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who hopped off the fence last week to endorse Barack Obama, she didn't get a thing.

But her 12-year-old daughter, Abigail, did.

Klobuchar says it wasn't exactly a quid-pro-quo but she did let it be known to Obama that Abigail would like to be the go-to babysitter for his two young daughters, Malia , 9, and Sasha, 6, if they wind up living in the White House.

During her endorsement conversation with him, Klobuchar dropped a not-so-subtle hint when Obama asked how her daughter was doing: Abigail was recently certified as a babysitter by the Red Cross and is "available on Saturday nights until 11 p.m." And thanks for asking.

No promise was extracted, Klobuchar says, though she feels pretty confident that her preferred Democratic presidential candidate would put her daughter high up on the babysitting call list.

Obama has met Abigail, and knows she's a fan of his. (He once commented on the kid's gift of gab and asked her if she might someday, like her mother, run for office. Abigail, according to Klobuchar, replied, "Oh, I've already done that. I'm on the 6th grade student council.")

The would-be first babysitter became an Obama supporter when the Illinois senator came to Minnesota to campaign for her mother two years ago. Throughout the 2008 Democratic presidential primary race, the persuasive 7th grader has been "very vocal" about her presidential preference even as her mother tried to remain neutral for as long as she could, according to Klobuchar.

"She was half joking to me that maybe this would be a babysitting opportunity," Klobuchar says.

Abigail certainly sounds qualified for the job. She even created business cards with the logo "When you want to go away but the kids have to stay, call Abigail.

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