80,000 people--the largest crowd ever, for anything--cheer Kerry and the Boss in Madison, Wisconsin.
Springsteen ticked off a long list of the things that matter: economic justice, a living wage, a "sane and responsible foreign policy," civil rights, and "the protection and safeguarding of our precious democracy here at home." He said: "I believe that John Kerry honors these ideals. He has lived our history over the past 60 years, and he has formed an adult view of America and its people. "
Quietly strumming his guitar as he spoke, Springsteen said Kerry understands that people are not infallible, that struggle and heartbreak are an inevitable part of the human experience. "That's why we need each other," he said. "That's why 'United We Stand' . . . and 'one nation indivisible' aren't just slogans. They need to remain the guiding principles of our public life."
Springsteen called on the country to face "America's hard truths, both the good and the bad." "That's where we find a deeper patriotism, that's where we find a more complete view of who we are. That's where we find a more authentic experience as citizens, and that's where we find the power . . . to make our world a better and a safer place."
As the huge crowd grew quiet, Springsteen quoted the late Sen. Paul Wellstone -- "The future is for the passionate" -- and he said the time to act is now. "That's why I'm here today to stand alongside Sen. Kerry and to tell you that the country we carry in our hearts is waiting."