“America has spoken, and I’m humbled by the trust and the confidence of my fellow citizens,” said president George W. Bush during his victory speech on November 3.
The boxing gloves are shelved and Americans can let out a sigh of relief, for the race is finally over between Kerry and Bush. The nation is also thankful that Ohio was not the new Florida, the state that delayed election results for 36 days in the 2000 presidential race.
Kerry conceded the presidency to Bush after the tally in Ohio had reached a point impossible for him to reclaim. Ohio’s 20 electoral votes would have won the race for either candidate.
Senator John Edwards was reported to have wanted to fight until the last ballot was counted, but Kerry disagreed and went on with a concession speech.
The country was thoroughly divided with passionate campaigners on either side; both Bush and Kerry agreed that a unity is required to advance the nation.
“I pledge to do my part to try to bridge the partisan divide,” Kerry said during his speech.
“We must find common cause, we must join in common effort, without remorse or recrimination, without anger or rancor,” he added.
Bush echoed this plea for unity in his acceptance speech.
“The campaign over, Americans are expecting a bipartisan effort and results. I will reach out to everyone who shares our goals,” he said.
With a voting turnout of roughly 120 million people, about 60 percent of eligible voters, this election has had the greatest participation since the 1968 race between Nixon and Humphrey.
Even though the polls were well attended, contrary to predictions, the 18-24 year old voting bracket did not increase from the 2000 election. Attempts to inspire young voters failed to bump up the nine percent represented in the total number of voters.
The rest of the world also has mixed feelings about the election results. Countries including Germany and France are disappointed, China is satisfied – though not fond of Bush’s interests in Taiwan – and Egypt is indifferent. Iraq, polled by the Iraq Centre for Research and Strategic Studies, was evenly divided.
Sources: www.bbc.com, www.cnn.com, www.nbc.com, www.msn.com, www.nytimes.com