“Springsteen found himself in the rare position of serving as opening act—this time for the Democratic nominee for president.”
—Jim VandeHei, “The Boss Makes a Pitch for Kerry,” in the Oct. 29 Washington Post
[Searchlights cross a darkened stage. Cheers. The lights come up on Sen. Kerry, who silences the crowd with a wave of his hand. He speaks.]
My friends, it’s great to be here in Monroe, Louisiana. I have been working—and you, we’ve all been working—extremely hard these past few weeks just to get our hands clean of the taint of four years under this administration. Tonight, we’re going to drive that dusty road to Angelina County, Texas, because I think even in George Bush’s home state, people have minds of their own!
Everywhere I go, I hear the same middle-class concerns. Will I be able to buy my girl a gold ring, or a dress, a simple, attractive dress of blue? Frankly, the color doesn’t really matter. What matters is that our tax system will reward your boss if he ships your job overseas.
We will seize this moment, because, my friends, all it takes is one kiss. Just one kiss will get these things for you. It will secure our fate tonight.
We are going to prove what must be proven. And not just in the morning, not just in the afternoon, not just in the late afternoon, or in the twilight, when that big yellow sun goes down, sometimes changing to orange or red before it dips below the horizon. We’re going to prove it all night. Prove it all night. Or, if we can’t prove it all night, certainly for the lion’s share of the night.
My opponent says that I’ve changed my position, that I am not willing to prove it all night, but only until shortly after 11 p.m., which doesn’t even get you through Nightline. That’s a lie. My position has never wavered. I have pledged, and continue to pledge, that I will prove it until, at minimum, the sun crosses the meridian due to the earth’s rotation. That happens just after midnight. But with the winter solstice approaching, the days are getting shorter, and so, this Sunday, Americans will set their clocks back one hour to bring a little more daylight into their mornings. So, for the two days prior to the election, midnight will feel like 11 p.m., and this administration will try to fool you into thinking it really is 11 p.m. But, my friends, it won’t be. It will be midnight.
Mr. President, I think the American people know how to tell time!
So let’s prove it all night, if we can. Prove it all night! Prove it all night! As president, I will, to the extent of my abilities, prove it all night for you.
Everybody’s got a hunger, a hunger they can’t resist. That’s something I learned as a young man in a Swift boat patrolling the perilous waterways of the Mekong Delta. There was so much more I wanted, and so much that my band of brothers wanted, too. We deserved much more. Well, my friends, if dreams came true—oh, wouldn’t that be nice. But Vietnam wasn’t a dream. We were living through the night—through the nightmare. You wanted it, you took it. You paid the price.
Prove it all night, man. Prove it all night. Prove it all night, friends, and call the bluff. Prove it all night. Prove it all night. I prove it all night for your love, or your support, or really, just your vote will do.
We can let America be America again. All you need to do is this. Tie your hair in a long white bow. Meet me in the fields out behind the dynamo. You take Sycamore Avenue to Monroe Street, then turn left—no, wait. Monroe is one-way in the other direction. Pass Monroe, turn left on Roosevelt Avenue, then take the next left and the left after that. The dynamo will be on your left. There’s a bank on the corner, you can’t miss it. You can park there. They never ticket on weekends.
You’ll hear George Bush’s voice telling you not to go. Well, they made their choices, and they’ll never know what it means to cheat, to steal, to lie. What it means to live and die. They just do it!
Prove it all night, prove it all night. Prove it all night, prove it all night.
Wa wa wa, wa wa wa. Wa wa wa, wa wa wa.
(With apologies to Bruce Springsteen’s “Prove It All Night.”)