Clinton Cheers up State Democrats for Klobuchar, Hatch

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Amy Klobuchar, the DFL endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate, said she raised money from all kinds of people, including ex-boyfriends. Still, she collected far less money than her nemesis, Mark Kennedy.
But on Saturday evening, she got a precious gift from an invigorating friend: Bill Clinton.

Some 1,400 people packed St. Paul’s River Center to listen to the former president cheer up state Democrats who are engaged in a fierce battle to hold on to two seats vacated by Sen. Mark Dayton and Rep. Martin Sabo.

Looking aesthetic, Clinton touted Klobuchar’s record as a top prosecutor at Hennepin County. He mentioned that he briefly met with her on a local, federal partnership in curtailing hate crimes near the end of his presidency.

“Amy is a strong advocate who will do a good job representing Minnesota in Washington,” said Clinton, whose speech was repeatedly interjected with standing ovations.

Clinton is the latest Democratic heavyweight to come to bolster Klobuchar. In April, Sen. Barak Obama, a rising Democratic star fundraised for her. President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Chief Strategist Karl Rove all campaigned for her opponent, Kennedy.

Aptly seated in the front tables were who’s who of state DFLers. Mike Hatch, Keith Ellison, Sen. Mark Dayton, just to name a few, were all present in what could be the state Democrat’s biggest gathering this year since their convention in Rochester.

Sen. Dayton was given the opportunity to introduce President Clinton. But before he did that, he took the liberty to take a bite on Rep. Kennedy. Instead of sending him – or any Republican to Washington – “I’d rather go quail hunting with Dick Cheney,” said Dayton, referring to the infamous incident that nearly killed one of Cheney’s friends.

At the party put up for her, Klobuchar capitalized the moment and chided her opponent for being too close to President Bush.

“Mark Kennedy is a rubber stamp for Bush,” she told the jubilant crowd, “and that’s why we need a change in Washington.”

She also highlighted her aggressive approach to prosecuting rich and powerful individuals, “who have family and friends that pack the courtroom.”

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