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New York Post - Barack's Apple Polish

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Location: New York, NY


New York Post - Barack's Apple Polish

By Maggie Haberman

Sen. Barack Obama came to New York yesterday and won high praise from the hard-working hotel doorman who had given $25 to his campaign.

Gregory Smith, whose support for Obama was chronicled by The Post last spring, introduced the Democratic candidate at a Brooklyn fund-raiser.

Smithcalled Obama an "ambassador of hope" and said he had given hope "to those who've become cynical and pessimistic."

He and his son Gabriel embraced Obama.

"My family and I continue to thank God for Senator Obama," Smith told the crowd.

"He was right about the war question. If there's one thing we ought to learn from this war, it's that our leader must have good judgment," he said.

Obama returned the compliment.

"He actually a sent me a little bit of money at a time when things were pretty tough for him," Obama said.

"Gregory giving me the money he gave meant more than anybody writing a $2,300 check [the maximum permitted contribution] where it's a lot easier for them," the Illinois Democrat said.

He said Smith "symbolizes" what his campaign is about.

Smith made his first-ever political contribution when he gave Obama's campaign the online donation.

In his speech, Obama blasted his presidential rivals for faulting him for his level of Washington experience.

"Nobody had more experience than Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld," he said.

He ridiculed "those people who all gave the authorization for this biggest fiasco in foreign policy in a generation asking me whether I've got experience." The Illinois senator also denounced "cynical" Washington officials who "think that the way to get elected and stay elected is to manipulate the American people and to feed them fear."

Earlier in the day, Obama rallied on front-runner Hillary Clinton's home turf with his supporters in Midtown, where more than 200 people cheered as he talked about how he would conduct his presidency.


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