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Klobuchar: Obama led on ethics

File Photo: Sen. Barack Obama, as a presidential hopeful,chats with voters in front of a polling place in Indianapolis, Tuesday, May 6, 2008, as voters in both Indiana and North Carolina crowd polling places Tuesday for the states' primary elections. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

ST. PAUL -- Amy Klobuchar had barely pulled out of her driveway en route to Washington, before taking her U.S. Senate position nearly two years ago, when Barack Obama was on the telephone.

"We weren't even sworn in yet and he was already determined to break the lock the lobbyists had on Washington..." now-Sen. Klobuchar told the Democratic National Convention in a brief Monday night speech. "By the time we got to Washington, we had an ethics reform plan in place."

Klobuchar told delegates that Obama, who will accept his party's presidential nomination Thursday night, led the effort to win passage of the ethics package.

"Within months, he had marshaled support on both sides of the aisle, and it became the law of the land," she said.

In her brief speech, the senator said Obama is someone Americans can trust.

"It is time for the American people to take back their White House," she said.

Klobuchar began her fiery speech with: "Are you tired of that subprime leadership in the White House?" Democratic delegates, of course, applauded loudly.

Dean: Get rural vote

Democrats must pay attention to rural America, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee told Minnesota convention delegates Monday.

Chairman Howard Dean made similar comments to other states' convention delegations, too.

The comments thrilled Minnesota delegate Nancy Larson of Dassel, who in June won her second term to the national committee saying that rural issues too often are ignored.

"The fact is that we tend as Democrats to concentrate on inner city and the problems there, and not recognizing the problems in rural United States," Larson said from Denver. "We have ignored them too long as a Democratic Party and maybe the nation as a whole."

Larson was disappointed when told that Obama did not touch on rural issues Sunday while in Eau Claire, Wis.

Campaigns can "get stuck on a message and you forget to look at your audience closely enough, Larson said. "He needs a poke in the ribs, and I am going to poke him."

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.