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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Obama's muscle in FL



Local_obamas_2352742 MIAMI -- In any conversation of more than a few minutes, Barack Obama's top advocate in Florida is apt to bellow, "I'll kick your a--," become agonizingly corny about the greatness of America, make an off-color ethnic joke, and predict that Republicans will nominate John McCain "because he's like the last chick left in the bar." Suffice to say, Miami lawyer Kirk Wagar, Obama's roguish Florida chairman, has not mastered the soaring rhetoric of the politics of hope.

But at 38, this cocky, born-again son of an arctic ship captain has emerged as one of the most important and courted Democratic players in America's biggest battleground state. Beneath Wagar's legendary political incorrectness is a ferociously loyal and idealistic champion who, not incidentally, can reel in reams of campaign checks. "He's just an unceasingly optimistic guy who doesn't know the meaning of the word 'quit. In the darkest days before the Iowa caucuses, this guy was just a horse calling in every favor and chit he had to keep our doors open because he was absolutely convinced we were going to win," said Sen. John Kerry, for whom Wagar raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and in 2004.

Story here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:12pm]


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