WINTER PARK, Fla. – President Barack Obama has a simple wish for his upcoming 51st birthday: Florida's 29 electoral votes.
Obama was serenaded to the tune of "Happy Birthday" on Thursday during the start of a campaign rally in battleground Florida, an early nod to his birthday on Saturday. The Democratic president, locked in a tight re-election campaign against Republican Mitt Romney, was not too bashful about suggesting potential gifts.
"If I had known you guys were going to sing we would have had a cake. And then I would have blown out the candles, I would have made a wish, that probably would have to do with electoral votes," Obama said. "Winning Florida wouldn't be a bad birthday present."
Obama is expected to keep a low profile on his birthday, spending the weekend at Camp David, the private presidential retreat in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains.
But presidential politics will get into the act. Obama is holding a birthday-themed fundraiser at his family home on Chicago's South Side on Aug. 12. His campaign used the birthday event to drum up small-dollar donations before the end of the July fundraising deadline, offering two lucky winners the chance of attending the fundraiser.
Obama said in suburban Orlando that he's taking his age in stride — and getting frequent reminders about it from first lady Michelle Obama.
"I'm going to be 51 on Saturday — 51. Michelle says I look 50," Obama said. "So that's not bad."