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David Geffen told Barack Obama to run for president way back in 2004

November 6, 2008 |  6:59 pm

Barack Obama supporter David Geffen

Victory, as John F. Kennedy famously said, has a thousand fathers.

Now Hollywood mogul David Geffen is one of those making a paternal claim on Barack Obama's big win, The Times' Patrick Goldstein reports.

Geffen tells Goldstein that he knew that Obama was a "remarkable guy" the very first time he laid eyes on him, way back in 2004. After watching Obama deliver the keynote speech at that year's Democratic National Convention, Geffen says he immediately pressed the Illinois politician to run for the White House.

“After I heard him give that speech, I called him up and said, ‘You’re going to run for president and I’m going to support you.’” Geffen said.

When Obama decided to run two years later, he called up Geffen. Geffen says Obama told the media mogul: "‘David, I guess you’re right. I am running for president and I’d like your support.’"

Geffen's backing would prove crucial for Obama. In February 2007, the New York Times' Maureen Dowd ran a column in which Geffen slammed Hillary Rodham Clinton (who at that point appeared to have all but clinched the Democratic nomination) as overly ambitious and "incredibly polarizing."

It was a moment that Goldstein says changed the trajectory of Obama's presidential campaign.

-- Kate Linthicum

Photo Credit: Paul Hawthorne / Associated Press

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