Kerry campaign aides threw a hissy fit at headquarters over the turnout that greeted their boy in Milwaukee on Monday. “We failed in advancing the event, we let our candidate down. That’s all there is to it, nothing more. We still win Wisconsin,” says a traveling staffer on the Kerry campaign.
At a time when President Bush was drawing 11,000 screaming fans to an indoor facility in Milwaukee, just blocks away John Kerry drew an estimated 1,100 for an outdoor rally in cold and rainy weather. The Kerry camp had failed to factor in an indoor venue in case of bad weather. Jon Bon Jovi, no Springsteen he, opened for Kerry to a modicum of enthusiasm.
While the Kerry folks can poo-poo the Wisconsin event, there is additional anecdotal evidence that the Democrats have had growing trouble creating enthusiasm on the road for their man.
In most Kerry rally sites, fans have been forced to wait up to two hours for their candidate to arrive. Whereas Bush generally arrives on time, Kerry has consistently run late. Given that many of these political rallies require that you show up at least two hours ahead of time, that is a four-hour wait for a fellow many Democrats have little affection for.
In Minnesota several weeks ago, Kerry showed up more than two hours late to an outdoor rally near the Metrodome, and watched as his supporters walked out on him half way through his usual stump speech.
Lack-o-Kerry-mania has been spreading across the country the past few weeks. Word out of Wisconsin — where Kerry may still eke out a victory thanks to a preponderance of youth voter fraud — the 80,000 showing for the Bruce Springsteen rally in Madison was largely due to a college crowd and bused-in supporters. Within two hours of the event’s conclusion, there was barely a whiff of pro-Kerry sentiment in town.
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