Boston Globe: A long line waits to hear the president

A long line waits to hear the president

January 17, 2010 02:01 PM

By Taylor Adams and Michael Corcoran, Globe Correspondents

An energetic crowd of thousands, most of them young people, stood in lines that stretched about a half-mile, hoping to get into the Northeastern University building where President Obama is slated to speak this afternoon.

Many held Coakley campaign signs. Some said they had been waiting for hours. Sarah Jane Vaughn, 31, of Arlington, said she was attending theevent because she wanted to support Coakley. “It is nice right now thateveryone is energized,” she said.

Vaughn said she felt Obama’s visit would be a boon to the Coakley campaign,which is struggling to fend off Republican Scott Brown. “All of the peopleare a testament to that,” she said.

Kathy Douglas, 62, of Middleborough, said Obama’s presence helps people realize how important this election is. “Sometimes special elections getignored, and now everyone realizes how important they are,” she said. “I think it is encouraging, the sense of community.”

Some Brown supporters also attended. Zachary Dillahunty, 19, a Suffolk University student from Texas, said, “I think the fact that the Coakley campaign needs to bring in Obama and Clinton, shows the dire straits that they are in."

Doug Bennett, 33, of Boston, who is running for the Boston City Council as an at-large candidate, said he considers himself a fiscal conservative and was worried about the state of the economy. He takes issue with the way some Democrats refer to the Senate seat as Ted Kennedy’s seat, saying, “It is the people’s seat,” and should be filled by a “man of the people.”

The president's appearance will be a key test of his ability to reenergize his dispirited party, the Globe reported this morning.