Kennedy Endorses Obama at AU

Senator Ted Kennedy announced his endorsement for Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama at a packed arena at American University on Monday, saying he sensed a “kind of yearning today…[a] kind of hunger to move on and move America forward.” Over 100 journalists were turned away, the American Prospect reports, but intrepid Voice reporter/photographer Yamini Kalidindi was able to find her way inside. By the looks of their (excellent) photo slideshow, it seems the GW Hatchet was among the publications turned away. An update with Yamini’s full report of the event will follow.

Update: Here’s Yamini’s report:

Following his significant victory in South Carolina, Senator Barack Obama received the endorsement of Senator Edward Kennedy, his son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, and niece Caroline Kennedy at a rally held today at American University. Sen. Kennedy voiced his commitment to Obama, saying he supports “a president who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal.”

Thousands waited on line to attend this event, some arriving at Bender Arena as early as eight in the morning for an event set to begin at 12:30. While the crowd consisted of a significant number of college students, people of all ages were present. Parents arrived with children 3, 4 years of age riding on their shoulders, while elderly people joined the throngs of youth waiting in the cold.

Despite the difference in age among the audience, the atmosphere remained consistent. From the time doors opened at 10:30, the arena rang with chants of “Obama! Obama! Obama!” closely followed by shouts of, “Can we do it?! Yes, we can!” Edward Kennedy summed up the feelings coursing through the crowd as they waited for Obama to take the podium, stating, he sensed a “kind of yearning today…[a] kind of hunger to move on and move America forward.”

When Obama finally took the stage, he thanked the Kennedys for their support. “If you stand with me in the days to come…if you stand for change,” he told the crowd, “we will change the course of history.”

Photos by Yamini Kalidindi

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