Friday, October 29, 2004
For the Kerry campaign - and the traveling press - Thursday had real star power day. Bruce Springsteen - The Boss - was on the campaign trail but, alas, not on the campaign plane. To this jaded crowd - one that has been in close proximity, some for over a year, to a man who could be the next leader of the free world - nothing compares to the Bard from New Jersey.
"I may be running for president of the United States, but we know who the real Boss is," Kerry told a crowd in Toledo, Ohio, one stop before Springsteen joined him Thursday in Madison, Wis. "When George Bush heard that The Boss was going to be playing with me today, he thought I meant Dick Cheney."
Once in Madison, Kerry and Springsteen looked out over a crowd of 80,000 fans-turned-supporters, and supporters-turned-fans. Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle had obviously worked hard off the Springsteen discography to prepare his introduction. Kerry, he said, was "Born in the USA." With John Kerry there will be "No Surrender." John Kerry will restore America to its "Glory Days." "We're gonna win this election from the streets of Philadelphia to Asbury Park," he concluded.
At each mention, Springsteen laughed, but his look said "Oh God, no."
"This is gonna be the governor's last appearance as my opening act," cracked The Boss; the crowd hooted.
Springsteen, whose working-man anthems have made him an iconic figure in American pop culture, has always preferred to let his music reveal his politics. But he broke that tradition this year, first working with independent liberal groups on getting out the vote and then, in the closing days of the election, to campaign with Kerry himself.
Springsteen was scheduled to appear with Kerry at an election-eve rally in Cleveland on Monday. But campaign aides said he was intrigued by what he witnessed on the campaign trail and offered to help some more.
So now he plans to be with Kerry tonight, Friday, in Miami.
"He asked to come to Florida after yesterday was so energizing," Kerry spokesman David Wade said.
posted by Jim Kuhnhenn at 9:40 AM
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