Thursday, August 02, 2012

President Obama's Birthday Wish: Win Florida

Taking the state's 29 electoral college votes "wouldn’t be a bad birthday present," the President tells Winter Park crowd, and regrets *not* bringing birthday cake...
President Obama marks his 51st birthday on Saturday, August 4th, and he was serenaded with "Happy Birthday" on Thursday by a crowd during a campaign rally at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Winning the battleground state is on his birthday wish list, the President told his supporters, and he added that he should have brought some cake, complete with a candle. (Above: During his remarks)

"I’m going to be 51 on Saturday--51," the President told the crowd, to applause. "But Michelle says I look 50. So that’s not bad."

The crowd then launched into "Happy Birthday," and the President smiled and nodded.

"Now, if I had known you guys were going to sing, we would have had a cake," said President Obama, who has made presenting birthday cake a signature gesture.

"And then I would have blown out the candle, I would have made a wish--that probably would have had to do with electoral votes. Win in Florida wouldn’t be a bad birthday present."

Florida now has 29 electoral college votes, two more than it had in 2008, when the President took the state by a slim margin, beating opponent Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) with 50.9% of the vote. McCain got 48.4%, and the rest was for independents.

Ahead of his speech to the Rollins College crowd, the President made an "unscheduled" stop at Lechonera El Barrio, a Puerto Rican cafe in Orlando's Azalea Park neighborhood. He mingled with patrons from the crucial Latino voting bloc and posed for photos while he waited for a take-out order.

"Orlando, I want you to know my hair may be grayer than it was four years ago--I may be turning 51, but my determination to do right by you, to fight for you, to think about you every single day--that determination is stronger than ever," the President said as he finished his remarks. "My faith in you is stronger than ever. I still believe in you."

After Florida, the President continued on to Leesburg, Virginia, for more campaigning.

*Photo by AP