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No. 12, December 2000
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Copyright 2000  www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.

 
Presidential electoral votes:
Bush 271
Gore 267
 
National popular vote:
Bush  49,820,518
Gore   50,158,094
Other  3, 835,394
 
Gore won the popular vote in the US by a margin of 337,576 votes.
 
Florida popular vote:
Bush 2,912,790
Gore  2,912,253
 
Bush won the Florida popular vote by a margin of 537 votes and, therefore, the presidency.
 
U.S. House of Representatives: 
GOP                 223 seats
Democrats      210 seats
Independents    2 seats
 
U.S. Senate:
GOP              50 seats
Democrats   50 seats.
 
Conclusion: In democracy, each and every vote counts, if it is counted...
 

Bill Minutaglio: First Son:
George W. Bush and the
Bush Family Dynasty.
Paperback, January 2001.
Get it from:
- Amazon.com
 

George W. Bush: 
A Charge To Keep.
January 2001, 256 p.
Get it from:
- Amazon.com
- Amazon.co.uk
- Amazon.de
-
Amazon.fr
 
George W. Bush wins Presidential election
Gore concedes and the epic presidential battle comes to an end
The statement George W. Bush of December 13, 2000

Article added on December 15, 2000
 
Although Al Gore strongly disagreed with the Supreme Court's decision which made him definitively lose the presidency, he accepted it. Of course, it is far from sure that Gore would have won if individual hand counts had been carried out. In his probably best speech in the whole presidential election, Gore conceded, called George W. Bush "president elect" and asked Americans to unite behind their new leader. He made it very clear to the outside world that the election battle was no sign of American weakness, on the contrary.
 
George W. Bush also insisted on uniting Americans. He wants "to serve one Nation" and not only his Republican supporters. As Cosmopolis has pointed out before the election, Bush has the best abilities to be able to reunite America because of his Texas record where he successfully dealt with a Democratic legislative majority. In his speech on December 13, Bush said that he believed that "things do happen for a reason". The five weeks of legal battle after the election have once more shown the bitter divide in American politics which has marked the entire Clinton presidency. This unhealthy antagonism should come to an end for the sake of America's future.
 
Bush as president is the best outcome of this election in the sense that he is a Washington outsider and not implicated in the intrigues and unfair battling which took place in the capital. Moreover, after eight years of Democrats in power, the time for a change has come. Austria, France and Germany are examples of the 1990s which show what happens if one party dominates the executive for too long: its leaders are burned out, collusion, corruption and abuse of power become dangerous.
 
Bush has no foreign policy experience and has almost never traveled abroad. Not a good starting point for the world's only remaining superpower. On the other hand, he has put together one of the finest foreign and military policy teams ever - at least on paper. In the end, it is the president who decides, but still, with such distinguished advisors, there is a strong possibility that everything works out fine in these fields.
 
Less encouraging is the environment issue. Bush is a man from the oil business. Environmental standards do not seem to interest him much. If one considers that the Clinton administration, with Al Gore being one of the most distinguished American politicians in environmental matters, did not do much to reduce pollution - the United States are the planet's leading polluter - and even hindered the international community to advance in this matter, one does not dare to imagine what the coming Bush administration will do. Still, Bush seems to be a pragmatic and realistic man who may well change his mind when confronted with facts and figures presented by competent advisors.
 
Just one last word on the election. As the Los Angeles Times pointed out, there were irregularities in several States such as Alaska, Indiana and Wisconsin, with sometimes more votes counted than there are voters or with dead people voting. So do not take the numbers on the left as a holy truth, but as the official results. Democracy is not perfect and where there are people, there is abuse. Normally, candidates are separated by a sufficient margin so that one can neglect errors and fraud, but in a close election, they can be decisive. Hopefully, in the next election, there will be better voting machines and ballots.
 
Luckily, Gore decided to concede on December 13. So far, Americans have remained calm. There was no danger of people fighting in the streets, of civil unrest or even civil war. In the end, we can say that it served as a politics and history lesson to Americans and to the world. But let's not forget that we came very close to a constitutional crisis. As the French observer Tocqueville wrote in the 1830s, in America, everything is finally decided by a court. This election has reaffirmed this observation. Today, things are even worse. Especially lawyers, but judges too, have too much power. It is far less sure that America has learned this lesson.
 
George W. Bush jr. was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1946, while his father was still an over-achieving student at Yale. But the family moved to West Texas before he was two years old. The son of a wealthy family, Bush senior tried to make his own fortune in the oil town Odessa. They moved into a small flat and, according to sources, they shared a bathroom with a mother-daughter team of prostitutes living next door. After a one-year interlude in California, the Bush family moved to a 847-square-foot bungalow in Midland. The family did well and moved into bigger houses.
 
When George was seven, his three-year-old sister, Robin, died of leukemia. Since then, the boy was close to his mother. George's brother Jeb is six and a half years younger, Neil is nine, Marvin ten and sister Dorothy is thirteen years younger. Bush jr. is no intellectual. He is said to be indifferent to books until today. Instead, he played catcher for the Cubs, a Little League baseball team and he even made it to the town's Little League All-Star team.
 
Bush jr. is a moderate conservative from Midland, a small oil boomtown which had 25,000 inhabitants when he was a little boy and which has some 100,000 today. In the 1970s, he returned to Midland to marry and start a family. Bush's beliefs have been shaped by Midland's small town philosophy. He is a critic of government intervention, he trusts private initiative and business more.
 
The Bush family has respect for the Mexicans who came over the border to work in the oil fields. The Midland boomtown needed laborers and welcomed hard-working Mexican immigrants. Therefore, Bush's efforts to push the Republican Party to reach out to Hispanics, African Americans and immigrants was more than just a clever electoral move.
 
The Bush family has some distinguished politicians as ancestors. On the mother's side, there is Franklin Pierce, America's 14th president. George Bush's grandfather was a senator and his father, of course, served as president.
 


  

Condoleezza Rice, Bush's future national security adviser, is a specialist on Russia. She has already outlined some principles in an interview with Policy.com which will guide the next administration's foreign policy. According to Rice, the president is the chief executive of American foreign policy and therefore, as in any other decision-making, he has to set an agenda. She defines the American national interest by market access and free trade which, in her eyes, bring about more democratic governments. The United States’ most important and fundamental responsibility is to keep the global peace. The American armed forces are the only army of consequence in the world that can deter war of global strategic significance (the Persian Gulf, the Taiwan Straits, the Korean peninsula). America should also intervene in local conflicts that could widen into larger wars in areas of vital strategic interests.
 
Some concrete issues: Condoleezza Rice thinks that America should not have told Milosevic up front that it was not going to use ground forces. Less convincing is her argument that it was possible in Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein. In order to remove the dictator, one would have had to go to Baghdad. The coalition would clearly have frayed at that point. There were some things that were missed in the war-termination phase, she says, but, even in retrospect, anyone should quarrel with the decision not to try to overthrow him. George Bush's father was president then and he used exactly these arguments.
 
George Bush's statement in the Texas House of Representatives, December 13, 2000
 
Thank you very much. Good evening, my fellow Americans. I appreciate so very much the opportunity to speak with you tonight. Mr. Speaker, Lieutenant Governor, friends, distinguished guests, our country has been through a long and trying period, with the outcome of the presidential election not finalized for longer than any of us could ever imagine. Vice President Gore and I put our hearts and hopes into our campaigns. We both gave it our all. We shared similar emotions, so I understand how difficult this moment must be for Vice President Gore and his family. He has a distinguished record of service to our country as a congressman, a senator and a vice president. This evening I received a gracious call from the vice president. We agreed to meet early next week in Washington and we agreed to do our best to heal our country after this hard-fought contest.
 
Tonight I want to thank all the thousands of volunteers and campaign workers who worked so hard on my behalf. I also salute the vice president and his supports for waging a spirited campaign. And I thank him for a call that I know was difficult to make. Laura and I wish the vice president and Senator Lieberman and their families the very best. I have a lot to be thankful for tonight. I'm thankful for America and thankful that we were able to resolve our electoral differences in a peaceful way. I'm thankful to the American people for the great privilege of being able to serve as your next president. I want to thank my wife and our daughters for their love. Laura's active involvement as first lady has made Texas a better place, and she will be a wonderful first lady of America. I am proud to have Dick Cheney by my side, and America will be proud to have him as our next vice president.
 
Tonight I chose to speak from the chamber of the Texas House of Representatives because it has been a home to bipartisan cooperation. Here in a place where Democrats have the majority, Republicans and Democrats have worked together to do what is right for the people we represent. We've had spirited disagreements. And in the end, we found constructive consensus. It is an experience I will always carry with me, an example I will always follow. I want to thank my friend, House Speaker Pete Laney, a Democrat, who introduced me today. I want to thank the legislators from both political parties with whom I've worked. Across the hall in our Texas capitol is the state Senate. And I cannot help but think of our mutual friend, the former Democrat lieutenant governor, Bob Bullock. His love for Texas and his ability to work in a bipartisan way continue to be a model for all of us.

The spirit of cooperation I have seen in this hall is what is needed in Washington, D.C. It is the challenge of our moment. After a difficult election, we must put politics behind us and work together to make the promise of America available for every one of our citizens. I am optimistic that we can change the tone in Washington, D.C. I believe things happen for a reason, and I hope the long wait of the last five weeks will heighten a desire to move beyond the bitterness and partisanship of the recent past. Our nation must rise above a house divided. Americans share hopes and goals and values far more important than any political disagreements.
 
Republicans want the best for our nation, and so do Democrats. Our votes may differ, but not our hopes. I know America wants reconciliation and unity. I know Americans want progress. And we must seize this moment and deliver. Together, guided by a spirit of common sense, common courtesy and common goals, we can unite and inspire the American citizens. Together, we will work to make all our public schools excellent, teaching every student of every background and every accent, so that no child is left behind. Together we will save Social Security and renew its promise of a secure retirement for generations to come. Together we will strengthen Medicare and offer prescription drug coverage to all of our seniors. Together we will give Americans the broad, fair and fiscally responsible tax relief they deserve. Together we'll have a bipartisan foreign policy true to our values and true to our friends, and we will have a military equal to every challenge and superior to every adversary. Together we will address some of society's deepest problems one person at a time, by encouraging and empowering the good hearts and good works of the American people. This is the essence of compassionate conservatism and it will be a foundation of my administration. These priorities are not merely Republican concerns or Democratic concerns; they are American responsibilities.
 
During the fall campaign, we differed about the details of these proposals, but there was remarkable consensus about the important issues before us: excellent schools, retirement and health security, tax relief, a strong military, a more civil society. We have discussed our differences. Now it is time to find common ground and build consensus to make America a beacon of opportunity in the 21st century. I'm optimistic this can happen. Our future demands it and our history proves it. Two hundred years ago, in the election of 1800, America faced another close presidential election. A tie in the Electoral College put the outcome into the hands of Congress. After six days of voting and 36 ballots, the House of Representatives elected Thomas Jefferson the third president of the United States. That election brought the first transfer of power from one party to another in our new democracy. Shortly after the election, Jefferson, in a letter titled "Reconciliation and Reform," wrote this. "The steady character of our countrymen is a rock to which we may safely moor; unequivocal in principle, reasonable in manner. We should be able to hope to do a great deal of good to the cause of freedom and harmony." 
 
Two hundred years have only strengthened the steady character of America. And so as we begin the work of healing our nation, tonight I call upon that character: respect for each other, respect for our differences, generosity of spirit, and a willingness to work hard and work together to solve any problem. I have something else to ask you, to ask every American. I ask for you to pray for this great nation. I ask for your prayers for leaders from both parties. I thank you for your prayers for me and my family, and I ask you to pray for Vice President Gore and his family.
 
I have faith that with God's help we as a nation will move forward together as one nation, indivisible. And together we will create and America that is open, so every citizen has access to the American dream; an America that is educated, so every child has the keys to realize that dream; and an America that is united in our diversity and our shared American values that are larger than race or party. I was not elected to serve one party, but to serve one nation. The president of the United States is the president of every single American, of every race and every background. Whether you voted for me or not, I will do my best to serve your interests and I will work to earn your respect. I will be guided by President Jefferson's sense of purpose, to stand for principle, to be reasonable in manner, and above all, to do great good for the cause of freedom and harmony. The presidency is more than an honor. It is more than an office. It is a charge to keep, and I will give it my all. Thank you very much and God bless America.
 


 

 

www.cosmopolis.ch
No. 12, December 2000
current edition & archives
Art  Film  Music  History  Politics  Archives
Links  For Advertisers  Feedback  German edition  Travel

Copyright 2000  www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.