World and Nation

Democratic Candidates Hit the Campaign Trail in Pennsylvania

The Democratic campaign took on the feel of the early voting states on Monday, back when the candidates’ buses would crisscross paths in a single state. Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama were both in eastern Pennsylvania courting voters, on a day in which Obama gained a superdelegate.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., announced her support for Obama in a conference call with reporters, describing him as “a new kind of leader — he speaks with a different voice, he brings a new perspective.”

Klobuchar described both Clinton and Obama as friends and colleagues but said, “To continue to stay silent would be, as my 12-year-old daughter, Abigail, likes to say, ‘Awkward, Mom, awkward.’”

Obama already leads in pledged delegates, and Klobuchar’s endorsement continues to narrow the gap in superdelegates. Clinton, by a New York Times count, now leads Obama by little more than a dozen.

Klobuchar brings to 65 the number of superdelegates to endorse Obama since Feb. 5, compared with 9 for Clinton, although she has also lost a few since then. Each has 13 senators.

On Friday, Obama received the endorsement of Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, which is expected to help him gain support among blue-collar voters in the state, which holds its primary on April 22.

Clinton was beginning a three-day tour of Pennsylvania as Obama went into the fourth day of a six-day tour of it. He stopped in Lancaster and Reading, while she spoke in Harrisburg and here in suburban Philadelphia.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the presumed Republican nominee, was beginning a tour to highlight his family’s long tradition of military service. In Meridian, Miss., he regaled reporters on his bus with tales of his exploits as a young pilot, including when he was disciplined for flying too close to another plane. That was on a field that happened to be named for his grandfather.