(2004-11-03) -- When John Forbes Kerry took the podium in a Boston hotel ballroom, many supporters expected him to heed the poet's call: "Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage..."
But the veteran-senator disappointed his troops one last time by taking the high road in his concession speech.
"America has spoken tonight," said a stoic Mr. Kerry, "They have chosen strength and integrity over indecision and political opportunism. This landslide victory for my opponent--forgive me, let me call him President Bush-- this victory demonstrates the essential decency and folksy wisdom of a bold and humble people. In all frankness, my candidacy was never anything more than a vitriolic hate-parade, funded by big unions, Hollywood and the trial lawyers."
Mr. Kerry then stunned the assembled party faithful.
"Tonight I step from the spotlight into the shadow of a great and good man," he said. "In doing so, I now join my friends Sen. Zell Miller, former New York Mayor Ed Koch and millions of anonymous Democrats who secretly betrayed their party today for the good of their nation tomorrow. As I did rhetorical battle with President Bush, I found myself respecting him, admiring him and longing to be more like him. From now on, I will say what I mean, mean what I say and act accordingly. Let me sum up now by paraphrasing my mentor, John F. Kennedy--starting tonight, Ich bin ein Bushie."