College Junior Breakfasts With Chelsea Clinton

Wisconsin super delegate, 21, gets one-on-one time with Clinton's daughter.


Feb. 11, 2008 — -- Jason Rae is a typical junior in college.

He spends several hours a day in class at Marquette University in Wisconsin where he is majoring in history and political science. He is closely following the Marquette basketball team and has the Golden Eagles' schedule memorized.

But not many 21-year-olds start their Monday with a personal breakfast with Chelsea Clinton, as Rae did this morning at the student union at the nearby University of Milwaukee.

Rae got the one-on-one treatment from the former — and possibly future — first daughter because he is a Democratic National Committee member from Wisconsin and thus a "super delegate," one of the 796 free agents who can back any candidate in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Rae may be a typical college junior but he is certainly not the typical DNC super delegate.

He is only 21 years old — he has never voted in a presidential election because he turned 18 after Election Day in 2004.

Since the race between New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is so tight, Rae has become a power broker of sorts, as both campaigns push hard to lock down the support of super delegates.

Rae said he and Chelsea Clinton talked about electability and mobilizing young people to get involved in politics. He said she spoke about what states her mother can carry in the general election and what demographics favor her candidacy. The two talked about how the campaign's operations were going in the states and what she is seeing on the ground.

The breakfast lasted about 30 minutes. Rae said he had to hustle back to campus and get to his afternoon classes.

Rae was elected as a DNC member at the Wisconsin state party convention in June 2004. He was 17 years old at the time but there are no party rules that say a DNC member has to be of voting age. Rae ran against and defeated the president of the state firefighters' union and a state legislator.

Rae has been called on his cell phone by former President Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright who tried to woo him to the Clinton side and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who was pushing for Rae to endorse Obama.

Despite the star power lighting up his cell phone, Rae told ABC News that he has no plans to endorse before the Wisconsin primary Feb. 19.

Former President Clinton called Rae on his cell phone, Jan. 25, the night before the South Carolina primary.

Rae was about to head out to dinner with friends when his phone rang and the screen said, "Number withheld." The voice on the other end said: "Please hold for the former president" and then a familiar voice said "Hey Jason, it's Bill here."

"I started to think, is this real? I am a junior in college and Bill Clinton is talking to me?" Rae said as he recalled the phone call.

Clinton talked about Hillary Clinton's electability and gave Rae an update on how things were looking on the ground in South Carolina. He then regaled Rae with stories about his travels to Wisconsin as president and the cities he visited during that time.

Rae received a call from Kerry, Feb. 1, the Friday before the critical Super Tuesday showdown. Kerry, too, talked about electability and also asked Rae about college life in general and even the weather.

Rae said he is getting a steady stream of calls from campaign staff and surrogates, including Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

But Rae said he is focusing on which candidate can win in November.

"Both have good positions, but it's about who can win," he said.