Mood At Kerry Headquarters In Boston Is Hopeful But Tense

Citizens are crowding Copley Square like it's a Red Sox game.

BOSTON — The Fairmont Hotel across from Copley Square is not only where all the media are checking in, but it's also where all the Democratic bigwigs are snacking and waiting and drinking and waiting for the returns to come in.

In the lobby, media personalities are running around chasing after Democratic elite like Ted Kennedy, Kendrick Meek and Gerald Ford as well as some of the stars that'll be speaking to the crowd gathered outside — the Black Eyed Peas, Jon Bon Jovi and others.

Outside it's a completely different feel. Copley Square has been cordoned off. A large part of it has been taken up by a crowd that has been credentialed by the Kerry campaign — special guests who will watch the returns come in on two giant TV screens. And then all around the square there's a crowd of Boston commoners, like it's a Red Sox game or something, who are lining up to watch history.

If there's one thing everybody here is wearing inside and out, the suits inside the Fairmont and the people in the hats and gloves outside, it's a sense of anticipation on their faces. The idea that there is large voter turnout is giving them a sense of hope. However, it's just such a razor-close election that everyone is kind of expecting — although dreading — the possibility of a long night and potentially a continuation of the same election cycle that has been driving the last 11-plus months of their lives.

Gideon Yago