Kerry votes, talks post-election unity

By Tim Grieve
Published November 2, 2004 8:09PM (EST)

John Kerry cast his vote in Boston this afternoon and then talked briefly with reporters. As reflected in the pool report we just received -- we're holed up at Copley Square, awaiting tonight's Election Night party -- Kerry sounded like someone preparing to deal with the challenge of leading America.

"And now the campaign comes to an end and the American people are going to decide," Kerry said. "I'm confident that we made the case for change, the case for trust in new leadership, a new direction, a fresh start. But what's really important is that both the president and I love this country. It's really important that people go out and vote and express their love for our country, no matter who they vote for. We want people to participate."

Kerry continued: "Let me just say, whatever the outcome tonight, I know one thing that is already an outcome -- our country will be stronger, our country will be united, and we will move forward, no matter what because that's who we are as Americans. And that's what we need to do."

Asked if he was nostalgic as he finished his campaign, Kerry said, "Well, it's quite a journey, I mean, as I expressed, when you go state-to-state and people, so many thousands of them invest their hopes in you, people tell you their life stories, share their troubles, they share their dreams. If you're not moved by that, you're missing something. And I'm deeply moved by it. I'm moved by the beauty of our country, I'm moved by the courage of Americans and the numbers of people who believe we can do better in this country. And it's an uplifting experience. No matter what happens, I find it a great statement to the world about the power of democracy, the power of good argument. America's a strong country and I think we can be stronger, but that's up to the American people what road we go."

Tim Grieve

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

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