updated 8/5/2008 7:43:26 AM ET 2008-08-05T11:43:26

It may take a few months for Barack Obama's birthday wish to come true.

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The expected Democratic presidential nominee turned 47 on Monday and shared his special day with hundreds of friends and other admirers, who paid up to $28,500 for the honor.

Introducing Obama, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry said: "I asked Barack Obama what he wanted for his birthday. He said, `Indiana, Colorado and Virginia,'" said Kerry, referring to three potential swing states Obama hopes to win in the Nov. 4 election. The election is won on a state-by-state basis.

In a ballroom on the 33rd floor of a downtown skyscraper overlooking Boston Harbor, Obama was serenaded first by singer Harry Connick Jr. and Connick's 10-year-old daughter, Kate, and then by the entire room in an animated rendition of "Happy Birthday."

About 850 people attended the birthday fundraiser, which cost between $1,000 and $4,600 per ticket. Among those, 250 also ate dinner with Obama — for $15,000 per ticket or $28,500 for a couple.

The Illinois senator received two gifts. The first was a Hawaiian shirt emblazoned with symbols of Boston's Red Sox baseball team to wear on a vacation that begins later this week in Hawaii, where he was born. "As a White Sox fan, this hurts a little bit," Obama said, referring to a team based in Chicago.

But all was well when he opened the second present; it was a near-identical shirt with Chicago White Sox symbols on it.

Obama later served birthday cake on his campaign plane and told reporters that he also "got a new tie from the girls," his two daughters, for his birthday. He said he wasn't sure whether it represented a gift or that "they didn't like my previous ties."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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