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And the Children Shall Lead Them...

Kids pester their Republican parents into voting for Obama, and the Times finds it simply adorable.

Tuesday brought a prominent front-page story by Jan Hoffman, "Obama's Young Backers Get Chance to Twist Parents' Arms," a supposedly cute story of children pestering their (Republican) parents into voting for Obama.


As the race for the Democratic presidential nomination continues, youthful volunteers for each candidate have been campaigning with bright-eyed brio, not only door-to-door but also at home. But the young supporters of Mr. Obama, who has captured a majority of under-30 primary voters, seem to be leading in the pestering sweepstakes. They send their parents the latest Obama YouTube videos, blog exhortations and "Tell Your Mama/Vote for Obama!" bumper stickers.


Megan Simpson, a Penn State senior, had not been able to budge her father, a Republican. But the day before the deadline for registering for the coming Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, she handed him the forms and threw in a deal-sweetener as well. "I said, 'Dad, if you change your party affiliation in time to vote for Obama,'" recalled Ms. Simpson, 22, an Obama campus volunteer, "'I will get you the paperwork the day after the primary if you want to switch back to being a Republican.'"


Thus did Ralph E. Simpson Jr., 50, construction company owner, become a newly minted Democrat. "I probably will switch my affiliation back," Mr. Simpson said, "but I haven't decided who I will vote for in the general election. If Meg keeps working on me, who knows?"


Hoffman gave this thin pro-Obama story a thin coating of political relevance by dropping some names:


But even politicians are mentioning the persuasiveness of their children, either in earnest or as political cover, as a factor in their Obama endorsements.


That list of Democrats includes Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.


Hoffman concluded with a McCain leaner that's naturally going for Obama.


In the Illinois primary, Mr. ElShareif voted for Mr. Obama. His daughter, thrilled, sent him an Obama sign, which he displays in his convenience store near the University of Chicago.


"The neighbors and the students come in now and say, 'We like your sign,'" Mr. ElShareif said. "Maybe these young people know something we don't."


By contrast, the biggest McCain story in Tuesday's edition is by Neela Banerjee on his relationship with controversial anti-Catholic pastor John Hagee, "For McCain, Little Talk of a Controversial Endorsement."