And, well, there's not exactly a paper trail.
The AP found no record of the donation in Springfield, Illinois, where Obama's campaign finance reports were filed. And Patrick and his staff can't find any evidence of it either.
Patrick says he remembers writing a $5,000 check to Obama, but now can't find the documentation.
The governor, an Obama supporter, has repeatedly told a story about donating to the then-state Senate hopeful, saying Obama called him for support in the mid-1990s. Patrick says he promised a donation "to the max," after which Obama told him there is no maximum donation in Illinois. Patrick recently recounted the story in Time magazine.