Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn) eagerly beseeched a smiling Obama to autograph the cover of Thursday's Daily News - headlined "It's His Party" - while some 200 Democratic members swarmed the likely nominee and showered him with hugs, kisses and backslaps.
"Well, it was a historic moment," a laughing Clarke spokeswoman Chic Smith said in explaining the aisle-blocking moves of her boss, who is technically a Clinton backer.
It was an unexpected moment with a serious purpose: Members of Congress are all superdelegates, making the House floor the richest fishing ground for uncommitted supers.
The star turn came after Clinton got slammed for suggesting in an interview with USA Today that she's the best candidate because blue-collar whites were fleeing Obama.
"Sen. Obama's support among working, hardworking Americans, white Americans, is weakening again," she told the paper, citing as evidence a recentAssociated Press story on voting trends in Indiana and North Carolina. "I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on."
Clinton defended her words as a common-sense analysis of exit poll data.
"I can't believe Sen. Clinton would say anything that dumb," Rangel told The News as he headed to the House floor, where earlier he had embraced Obama.
The bitter words came as both candidates looked ahead to West Virginia's primary Tuesday and pressed their talking points - Clinton insisting she was in the race to win, while Obama argued he could have the nomination wrapped up when Oregon and Kentucky vote on May 20.
He also seemed to offer both a carrot and a stick to Clinton, suggesting he might consider her as his running mate - but only once she's out of the race.
"She is tireless, she is smart, she is capable, so obviously she'd be on anybody's short list," Obama told CNN. "But it would be presumptuous of me at this point, when she is still actively running ... for me to somehow suggest that she should be my running mate."