Although Democrats insist New Jersey is safely in the blue column -- Al Gore won the state by 16 points in 2000 -- some recent polling numbers show a horse race breaking out in the state. One poll last month had Kerry and Bush virtually tied, although another more recent poll shows Kerry with a healthy lead. Still, the thought that New Jersey could even be an issue for John Kerry is frightening for Democrats.
But Kerry may have a tremendous weapon in his Garden State arsenal: The Boss. (And of course, his influence goes well beyond his home state.) Bruce Springsteen has posted Al Gore's fiery ("How dare they, etc.") recent speech on his official Web site, with this message: "A few weeks ago at N.Y.U. Al Gore gave one of the most important speeches I've heard in a long time. The issues it raises need to be considered by every American concerned with the direction our country. It's my pleasure to reprint it here for my fans."
Springsteen fans are accustomed to hearing political statements from the Boss during his shows. During The Rising tour, Springsteen usually criticized the war in Iraq. But endorsing Gore's speech, which called for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld and the entire crew responsible for the war, goes a step beyond his own political pronouncements. His Web message to fans will likely create more buzz around Springsteen's plans for the Republican convention. The New York Daily News has reported The Boss could throw a benefit show somewhere in New York on the night George W. Bush accepts the Republican nomination. His people deny it. John Kerry has to be hoping it's true.