BOSTON – Shortly after midnight today in Copley Square, rocker Jon Bon Jovi began to sing “Living on a Prayer” as thousands of Sen. John Kerry’s supporters sang along, swaying to the music.

But as concern grew over Kerry’s chances to clinch the presidency, it appeared that prayer was one of the few things left for the Democratic team.

Kerry was holed up with family in his Beacon Hill mansion, talking by telephone with campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill and getting reports from Michael Whouley, one of his most senior strategists.

Meanwhile, spokesmen Mike McCurry and Joe Lockhart were quizzing reporters about their deadlines, trying to decide whether Kerry should speak publicly before the results were clear.

“We don’t know. We’ve got to figure that out,” McCurry said, as he and Lockhart professed confidence in the outcome. As of 1:30 a.m., there was no sign of Kerry.

Kerry’s day began with far more promise as he gave thanks for his political journey and cast a ballot for himself as president of the United States.

“I don’t think anyone can anticipate what it’s like seeing your name on the ballot for president,” he said outside the State House polling place on Beacon Hill as he hugged both his daughters.

The Democratic nominee awakened Tuesday in La Crosse, Wis., where he seemed moved as he thanked about 250 supporters in the parking lot of his campaign’s canvassing office.

“I’m counting on you,” he told the group standing in the early morning cold. “Today we’re linking hearts and hands, and we’re going to take America back to a better place. I want to thank you.”

The crowd shouted, “Thank you” back at him.

“It’s truly touching. I am touched and moved,” he said, his voice hoarse from days and nights of rallying his troops across the country. “It’s such a magical kind of day.”

Aboard his airplane, as he made his way back East, Kerry thanked his staff and gave each a silver picture frame, prompting tears and hugs in the privacy of his front cabin.

In keeping with his personal Election Day tradition, Kerry ate lunch with his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, and a longtime aide at the Union Oyster House. He had a dozen littleneck clams, sole, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and a draft of dark ale.

At the bar, he teased a couple from Michigan, still looking for a last few votes.

“Did you guys vote before you left?” he asked. “Otherwise, I’m sending you back there right now.”

Kerry spent four hours Tuesday afternoon giving separate interviews to 38 local television stations via satellite from the Westin Hotel, hoping to maintain his presence in crucial battleground states like Wisconsin, Minnesota and New Mexico while the polls were still open.

Over the course of the day, Kerry seemed to be in a reflective mood, expressing awe at the democratic process and gratitude for the journey he had traveled.

“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,” he said outside the State House. “If you’re not moved by that, you’re missing something. And I’m deeply moved by it.”

(c) 2004, Chicago Tribune.

Visit the Chicago Tribune on the Internet at

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.


PHOTOS (from KRT Photo Service, 202-383-6099): Election+kerry

AP-NY-11-03-04 0209EST

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.