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Hynes says Obama should run for President in '08

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Comptroller Dan Hynes (L) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)

By Sam Hudzik, IL Public Radio

Chicago, Ill. – Two years after facing off as political opponents in the race for U.S. Senate, Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes now says the man who beat him, Senator Barack Obama, should run for president in 2008.

During a debate before the 2004 primary, Hynes attacked Obama for not speaking out against former Governor George Ryan's budget proposals.

But in comments now that have left local political observers dumbfounde, Hynes says he learned a lot about Obama during that campaign.

"I learned what a tremendous candidate he is," Hynes said, in an interview. "What a bright person he is. But also, what a warm and friendly individual he is as well. He's a phenomenon, and I honestly think that a person of his caliber only comes around once maybe a generation, maybe even less than that."

The comptroller denies any personal political motivations for urging Obama to make a run for the White House.

In a statement, Obama said he was flattered, but has no plans to run for President in 2008.

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