Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic
Ted Kennedy endorses Barack Obama. Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Usually when I watch political happenings I'm here at work, or in my living room. As it happened, I was stuck at O'Hare airport in Chicago on Saturday night as the results came in from the Democratic primary in South Carolina, and it was a fascinating thing to watch. Not the results themselves so much, but how the crowd responded to the candidates' speeches.
You had the usual low-level murmur of any crowd of about 50 people at an airport gate... white people, black people, hispanic people, asian people, young, old, etc. CNN Airport droned in the background. Until Barack Obama took the stage. People stopped talking, they put down their books and newspapers, and just listened. Some shouted encouragement. And 17 minutes later, when Obama finished talking, a handful broke into applause. Complete strangers at an airport, waiting on a delayed flight, clapping after a political speech. I haven't seen anything like it outside of political events. (I confess for a moment I suspected maybe this was just an extraordinarily civic-minded group of people. But, when John Edwards took the stage several minutes after Obama, most people went right on talking, or reading.)
I won't read more into this than it warrants, but as an outside observer it's clear that for at least one night at one gate in Chicago, Barack Obama owned the room.
Today in Washington, Ted and Caroline Kennedy both came out and endorsed Obama. Have any of the events in the last few days changed your mind, or helped you make a decision about any of the candidates?