Travels In A Purple State: The Ultimate Happy Kerry Photo

Check that out, kids. That’s in the “conservative” city paper in Madison, Wisconsin, the day after a Kerry/Springsteen rally that drew 100,000 people.

By the time I got there the next day, city workers had cleaned up most of the debris from the rally, though I did see a guy walking down the street carrying a Kerry/Edwards sign and wearing, round his neck, a beer funnel.

Every other ad on the radio, and I mean on the football broadcasting radio, was for Kerry. Unions, Planned Parenthood, left-wing loonies I remember from my student days, all said “Vote Kerry.” And perhaps it wasn’t surprising in the city, but I’ve been there during elections before. And I’ve never seen anything like it in all my livin’ life. Nobody walking down the street got away from those handing out Kerry stickers, Kerry signs, Kerry fliers. I live in a safely blue state, but driving up to Wisconsin I was in Kerry Nation, and damned if it didn’t feel like home.

At a student hockey game Saturday night, the scoreboard cameras zeroed in on a guy wearing a rubber Bush mask. And the boos shook the rafters and rattled the rink. It’s not just kids come to those games; the people who sit in front of me own a farm and drive two hours into the city every weekend for the contests. They have a tiny daughter who has been coming to the games with her parents since she was three weeks old and slept through them. Now she shakes her tiny fists and cheers. She’s a reason to vote for Kerry, that’s for sure. Kid deserves a better preznit. My team, on the other hand, deserved a better coach; they got thrashed by Denver 6-3.

Oh, sure, there’s a belligerent college Republican contingent that went around town shouting “Four more years!” and in the farm country between there and Chicago there’s plenty of signs that Bush and Cheney have some people fooled. But as I walked out to my car after checking out of the hotel this morning, a young couple stopped me and asked if I’d take their picture in front of the football stadium. Seeing the Kerry sign on the back of my car and the Kerry hat on my head, they smiled and said, “We’re with you.”

Look at all those people. They’re with us. We’re with them. And on Tuesday, we’re all going to win.