Hope-a! Obama Ouzos Love at Greek-American Fundraiser in Chi-town

By Nitya

Sep 23, 2008 9:04am

"We have to have a tax code that works, because right now our tax code is so skewed, mostly toward the kind of folks in this room," Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told approximately 700 supporters who paid a minimum entrance fee of $1,500 to come to the Standard Club ballroom last night, where he raised about $1 million for the Obama Victory Fund.

Introducing Obama at this first of two fundraisers last night was Andy Shapiro, who attended Harvard Law with Obama and voted for him to be Law Review editor.

“He really is the person he appears to be,” Shapiro said of Obama. He is “an engaged, curious, intelligent person –- very much a change from what we have in the White House right now.”

“Hello Chicago!" Obama said. "It is good to be back home. It’s just refreshing to be with so many people who have been friends for so long.”

“So, we’ve got less than 45 days, less than a month and a half," Obama continued. "We are down to the wire. … I hope people aren’t feeling overconfident, and I hope people aren’t feeling panicked."

Obama then hopped over to the "Greeks for Obama" $28,500 per-person fundraising dinner for the Obama Victory Fund, at the Powerhouse Restaurant & Bar in downtown Chicago.

State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias — whom the Republican National Committee has attacked — told the 40 assembled guests that “I think it says something for the type of person that Barack is that I treat him as a family member. … There is no more caring, genuine, warm, intelligent, capable leader in this country, and I promise you, I promise you, when Barack Obama is elected president, you will be so proud of your support.”

Obama returned the love, devoting about a third of his six minutes of remarks to Giannoulias.

“I want to say, first of all, something about Alexi, and actually I want to talk about Alexi’s dad," Obama said. "Alexi’s dad was right out of a storybook — he had been extraordinarily successful, and had built his success from nothing. … He was tough, he was shrewd, but he was also a gentleman. I immediately loved him and loved the family.

“It reminded me not only of what’s best in the Greek community, but also in the American community," Obama said. "So, when Alexi decided he wanted to run for treasurer, I felt, all right, let’s go. So, I’m extraordinarily proud of the work that he’s done. He’s come in and made the treasurer’s office an active and innovative office.”

Obama then spoke about the financial crisis for a few minutes.

- jpt

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