Obama's Birthday Wish: Win Virginia...
By Perry Bacon
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio--His daughters gave him a tie and his supporters in Boston offered a Chicago White Sox shirt, but the candidate wanted something else for his 47th birthday.
"I asked Barack what he wanted for his birthday and he said three things: Indiana, Colorado and Virginia," Sen. John Kerry told a crowd of several hundred at a Boston fundraiser on Monday night. "That's it."
Obama spent Monday, his birthday, giving an energy speech in Lansing, then headed to Boston for a fundraiser that raised several million for his campaign before flying here, where he will speak on Tuesday. At the fundraiser on the 33th floor of an office building on State Street near the Boston Harbor, singer Harry Connick Jr, and his 10-year-old daughter Kate sang "Happy Birthday" to the candidate.
With a crowd that not only included Kerry but also 1988 Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis, Obama warned of overconfidence, recalling how he had been upset by Hillary Rodham Clinton in New Hampshire earlier this year after his win in Iowa.
"I think that there is a tendency, particularly for Democrats, to start feeling kind of giddy again .. the poll numbers look pretty good," he said.
He then moved to a recent controversy that illustrated the complexity of the campaign for him.
"You go off on a trip that your opponent has told you you need to take. So you take the trip," he said, referring to his travels to Afghanistan, the Middle East and Europe. "And suddenly, this trip that you were told you had to take, you're acting presumptuous. You're acting like a president already."
On the flight from Boston to Ohio, Obama seemed relaxed as he spoke to reporters for more than 20 minutes. He said his traveling chief of staff, Marvin Nicholson, told him a gift from his campaign staff had been accidentally left in a cab "somewhere in Chicago," and spoke of his coming vacation to Hawaii, where he will see his grandmother for the first time in more than a year.
Obama then went down the aisle row-by-row to deliver pieces of his birthday cake to more than three dozen journalists, declaring "it's full service" on the plane. When a female reporter at first declined, the candidate managed to change her mind.
"No cake? Maureen Dowd will write a story about you," he joked, referring to the New York Times columnist who has often tweaked the candidate. "Don't want to be elitist now."
Posted at 8:29 AM ET on Aug 5, 2008
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