As everybody with a “presidential candidate” in front of their name moves to the change bus, Barack Obama is trying to secure his role in the drivers seat. The candidate who has been talking about hope and change for months, told the more than 1,000 4,500 (as I’ve been told by the Obama campaign) Charleston residents who gathered at the College of Charleston on Thursday that the naysayers (read: former President Bill Clinton) are wrong.

“Yes we can,” the crowd chanted along with Obama.

The candidates brief remarks came after the surprise (at least for the crowd) endorsement by Sen. John Kerry, also no stranger to the “presidential candidate” moniker.

Kerry stressed the fact that, unlike his graying self, agents of change are typically young, fresh faces like Obama.

“Change has been won by young presidents and young leaders,” Kerry said. “We are electing judgment and character, not years on this earth.”

With signs surrounding him reading, “Change We Can Believe In,” Obama told the crowd the time is now.

“You came out because you know we can’t afford the same old politics anymore,” he said. “There is no problem we can’t fix. No destiny we can’t fulfill.”

The biggest cheers of the afternoon came when Obama spoke to the large number of students about making college affordable. But he said it won’t be for free, with the students cheering his calls for student volunteers and graduates spending time in the Peace Corps.

“We invest in you. You invest in America,” he said.

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