Sen. Barack Obama is running for the White House, but it was not so long ago that he was so broke his debit card was declined.

At an unscheduled campaign stop at Vessels & Jewels store in New London, Obama bought a necklace for each of his two young daughters and a key chain, spending $37 on his debit card.

Waiting for his receipt, the man who is hoping to be elected as America’s first black president turned to an aide and said, “Have I told you the story of the 2000 convention?”

“After I had lost my congressional race I had been running on broke and I got talked into going to Los Angeles. I got to the airport and I tried to use my card but it was declined,” Obama said.

“That was only seven years ago,” he said. “It’s not that far from being normal, that’s my point.”

On this occasion — one day before New Hampshire votes on who it wants to run in the November election to replace U.S. President George W. Bush — the debit card of the man leading the Democratic field was accepted.

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