"We want Mike! We want Mike!"
The roar of the crowd was deafening as the mass of ecstatic campaign workers surged toward the stage in anticipation of Dukakis's arrival.
As the governor-elect entered the room, the crowd went wild with the knowledge that the man they had worked so hard for had come from dark horse status to a resounding victory. When Dukakis reached the stage the overflowing ballroom broke into a chorus of happy birthday in honor of his 41st on Monday.
Dukakis cracked a rare smile as he proceeded to thank his supporters and later his opponent for a "gracious concession speech."
"He was always a gentleman," Dukakis said of Francis W. Sargent.
But to most of those in the room there was never any question that Dukakis would live up to his campaign slogan, "Dukakis should be governor." Since the early evening they knew they had a winner and the people showed it.
The steady stream of favorable predictions confirmed the crowd's expectations of victory and their reaction grew in size each time one of the networks called the race in their favor. The culmination of their euphoria came at 10 p.m. when Sargent conceded the election.
In his victory speech Dukakis said that he had a great deal of work to do beginning in January, but for all those supporters who waited to shake his hand afterwards, their work was over and they were very proud