PHILADELPHIA (CN) — Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and the Obamas all took the stage Monday night in Philadelphia to get out the vote for Hillary Clinton, capping off the historic presidential campaign where it kicked off this past July after the Democratic National Convention.
With tens of thousands of onlookers cheering, President Barack Obama promised that Clinton would “finish the job” he had started in the White House.
After decrying Republican nominee Donald Trump as “uniquely unqualified” and “temperamentally unfit” to succeed him, Obama urged viewers to let Clinton to build on the progress of his two terms in office.
“If you want a president who shares our faith in America, then I’m asking you to work as hard as you can this one last day to elect, my fellow Americans, this fighter, this stateswoman, this mother, this grandmother, this patriot, our next president of the United States of America, Hillary Clinton,” Obama said.
Obama reflected on his own presidency at the podium as well, calling it “an unlikely journey” and thanking supporters for taking a chance on “a skinny guy with a funny name.”
The evening was punctuated with musical performances from longtime Democratic Party mainstays Springsteen and Bon Jovi, each of whom hails from nearby New Jersey and packs a powerful celebrity punch with locals. (Click here to catch a snippet of Springsteen’s election-eve performance of “Dancing in the Dark.”)
In addition to singing and playing the guitar, both men urged the audience to hit the polls for Clinton on Tuesday.
Bon Jovi read aloud a letter from a “Republican gun owner” pledging a vote for the former secretary of state. Springsteen, long a vocal critic of Trump, praised Clinton’s “vision of an America where everyone counts.”
“The choice tomorrow couldn’t be any clearer,” Springsteen said. “Let’s work hard so we can say we stood on the right side of history.”
According to poll numbers from RealClear Politics, Clinton took the stage with a 2.1 percent lead over Trump in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. The push to widen that advantage has galvanized celebrities and average-Joe supporters alike in the dog days of campaign season.
Nowhere was this more evident than on Monday night’s rally in Philadelphia.
Lines of supporters stretched almost 2 miles from the site of the downtown event. Many would-be attendees showed up early in the day and waited in line into the chilly night, only to give up and go home as crowd sounds from inside the rally got louder and they were still nowhere near the front of the line.
The rally drew an estimated 33,000 supporters — a record for any campaign event this season, according to multiple tweets by ABC News reporters.
Paying homage to the event’s Independence Hall locale, speakers spoke of their pride to campaign for the first woman nominated by a major U.S. political party at the birthplace of the U.S. Constitution.
Michelle Obama reflected on her husband’s historic term as the country’s first black president and urged Americans to help bust yet another glass ceiling, reminding them that they were “one day away from once again making history.”
The popular first lady elicited roars from the crowd when she invoked the now-famous catchphrase first uttered just a few miles down the road at July’s Democratic National Convention.
“When they go low, we go high,” she said.
The crowd was enthusiastic throughout, but the biggest cheers of the night were saved for the guest of honor herself.
Voters first applauded wildly and then listened in rapt silence as Clinton spoke one last time about her vision for the country’s future and reminded Americans what was at stake as they faced “a choice between division and unity, between steady leadership or a loose cannon.”
Clinton voiced regret for the vitriolic turn of the campaign — which Obama likened to a reality show during his speech — and vowed to turn her attention to policy change and progress going forward.
“Our core values are being tested in this election,” Clinton said. “The real question is what kind of country we want to be and what kind of future we want to build for our children.”
“America’s best days are still ahead of us if we reach for them together,” she added, promising a presidency where “everyone’s included, everyone has a place [and] everyone has the chance to live up to their own God-given potential.”
Like all the speakers before her, Clinton reminded Americans that she couldn’t get there without their help.
“None of us want to wake up on Wednesday morning and wish we had done more,” she said before leaving the stage, heading off to one last midnight rally in North Carolina, hours ahead of poll-site openings.
The New York Times reported Tuesday morning that Clinton held a 3.1 percent lead over her Republican opponent. Real Clear Politics put her lead at 3.2 points, based on an average of 10 polls.
All images by AP photographer Matt Slocum
Caption 1: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes the stage and waves with President Barack Obama during a campaign event at Independence Mall on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 in Philadelphia.
Caption 2: Bruce Springsteen performs during a Hillary Clinton campaign event at Independence Mall on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 in Philadelphia.
Caption 3: First lady Michelle Obama speaks alongside former President Bill Clinton during a Hillary Clinton campaign event at Independence Mall on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 in Philadelphia.
Caption 4: Jon Bon Jovi performs during a Hillary Clinton campaign event at Independence Mall on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 in Philadelphia.
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