Throngs of political groupies lined up for chance to shake hands with Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Among Democrats, he is one of their brightest stars.
But the only current black United States Senator made it clear, today was not about him. "I thank you for allowing me to be a warm up act, for an outstanding star, someone who we know is going to join the Senate,"said Obama.
Obama wasted no time pointing out he, like Ford, was considered a big underdog in his U.S. Senate race.
It is now with humor that he remembers being told a black man couldn't win.
The first thing they'd ask is where'd you get that funny name. Barack Obama? Although they wouldn't always pronounce it right and they'd call me Alabama," said Obama.
But he did win.
And says Ford Junior will too through a grassroots effort. " Wherever we go we are spreading the word about this young man who is going to turn it around in Washington, just like he has been doing in TN, then I guarantee you that the next Senator from Tennessee is going to be a young man named Harold Ford Junior," said Senator Obama.
It was clear, Obama's support of Ford inspired those in the room. "I was standing there watching the two of them on the podium. I said this would be such a fantastic thing for our country," said Malak Kotbe. " He's brilliant. He's brilliant to me. He's great and I can see him as greatness in the American Future," said 14-year-old Handel Durham.