Kerry Prepares To Make Case For Presidency

07-29-04 - BOSTON (AP) John Kerry has toured the stage where he'll accept the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday. Ahead of what some are calling the biggest speech of his career, he stopped by Boston's FleetCenter to check out the view from the podium.

Looking out over a vast expanse of empty seats, Kerry said: "This is great. Can we do it now?"

He joked with reporters gathered in front of the stage, telling them: "I called you here today to tell you your reign is over."

Technicians checked his voice levels in preparation for his prime-time address on the final night of the Democratic National Convention.

Aides say the speech will last 50 minutes or so. They say Kerry will draw some contrasts between himself and President Bush. He'll be introduced by his daughters.

Meanwhile, several hundred anti-war and anti-government protesters are marched through Boston's streets on the final day of the Convention. They're heading for the convention hall, chanting "End the occupation now" and "DNC shut it down."
One of the leaders is a Chicago-based organizer for the national Green Party.

In other protest action: a group of about five demonstrators disrupted the Florida delegation's breakfast at a hotel, protesting what they said was a lack of difference between John Kerry and President Bush on the war in Iraq. And about 150 activists rode bicycles through Boston Thursday morning, challenging police who followed them.