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Obama calls into Boston radio show

President Barack Obama made the unannounced call to praise outgoing Gov. Deval Patrick.

By Aileen Graef
Obama calls into Boston radio show
President Barack Obama called into Boston public radio. UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama called into a Boston radio show to praise Gov. Deval Patrick and was given a hard time about his pronunciation and parking tickets.

Patrick was taking calls with WGBH's Jim Braude when they got a special caller.

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"Uh, Governor, this is Barack Obama, formerly of Somerville. I've got a few complaints about service in and around the neighborhood, but I've moved down South since that time..." said Obama.

The president then went onto praise Patrick's work in Massachusetts, on job creation, healthcare, education and moving the state in a generally good direction. For all the praise, though, the president only received a hard time.

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"Mr. President, you know I love you, but you still have trouble saying Massachusetts. You know that don't you?" said Patrick.

"You know, there's a little lisp thing that develops when I say Massachusetts. I know how to spell it, though," defended Obama.

Patrick thanked Obama for his help, friendship and praise but before the president signed off, Braude had an important question.

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"Mr. President, you paid all those parking tickets in Somerville, correct?"

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Between 1988 and 1991, when Obama was attending Harvard, he racked up an impressive 17 parking tickets, only two of which he paid in that period.

"You know what, I think I had to before I took office, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to step into the Commonwealth without being arrested," he replied.

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The president paid the $115 in fines and $260 in late fees in January 2007 just before he kicked off his presidential campaign.

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