Kerry's final charge through the battlegrounds

By Tim Grieve
Published November 1, 2004 8:38PM (UTC)
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The end is near, but it's still a long ways away.

John Kerry just launched a final push through battleground states that will take him through Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin again before he arrives in Boston Tuesday afternoon. Reporters traveling with Kerry have been told to keep what they'll need with them because Kerry's planes -- a 757 for the candidate, an MD-80 for the press -- won't be stopping long enough anywhere to unload the checked bags.


Kerry started the day at church in Orlando -- it's All Saints Day, people -- and then held a short send-off rally on a sun-baked airport tarmac. With U2's "Beautiful Day" blasting over the loudspeakers, Kerry pumped hands with supporters and urged them to get out the vote.

"All of the hopes and dreams of our country are on the line," he said, then briefly ticked off his criticisms of the Bush administration's record on domestic issues.

Recalling Bush's oft-repeated refrain from the debates -- "It's hard work" -- Kerry asked Americans to help him relieve Bush of his burdens and "change the direction of this country."


The soundman cued "No Surrender," and Kerry shook a few more hands before heading for his plane. Next stop: Milwaukee.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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