AU Embraces Obama on 'One of the Greatest Days of My Life'

By Josiah Ryan | July 7, 2008 | 8:32 PM EDT

On the Spot ( - "Today is one of the greatest days of my life," Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama declared Monday before hundreds of people outside the Bender Arena at American University in Washington D.C., where minutes before three members of the Kennedy family had endorsed his bid for the presidency. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)

Several American University students told Cybercast News Service that students had been queuing for entrance to the arena since before 7:30 am and that by 9 am lines stretched for more than a mile down Massachusetts Avenue.

The Bender Arena, which according to campus officials was full within a half-hour of its doors opening at 10:30 am, was arranged with seating for 5,000 people. Still, thousands of supporters lingered outside the doors until well after the rally had begun waiting for a chance to enter.

"We have been waiting here for several hours," Desa Sealy Rullin, a D.C. resident and Obama supporter, told Cybercast News Service at 1 pm. "But I still have hope we will get in."

Tensions ran high between the media and the Secret Service as dozens of credentialed reporters, some representatives from major networks, were informed the building was "at capacity" and were barred from entry.

Soem of the people excluded from viewing Sen. Kennedy's endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama at American University.Eventually, the Secret Service set up an alternate sight at the American University Amphitheater adjacent to the arena. Obama and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) emerged as the rally concluded to again announce their alliance in front of the supporters and reporters who were unable to gain entrance to the arena.

"There is no one else I would rather have in my foxhole," Obama told the cheering overflow crowd. "It's nice to have Ted Kennedy in my court."

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