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Well-heeled serenade Obama on 47th birthday

It may take a few months for Barack Obama's birthday wish to come true.
/ Source: The Associated Press

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

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."