How the World Sees the U.S. Election - Disappointment but No Bitterness

The World and I, February 2001 | Go to article overview

How the World Sees the U.S. Election - Disappointment but No Bitterness


GREAT BRITAIN--In what was seen as a gracious speech, Mr. Gore showed some of the disappointment but none of the bitterness he must feel. But he made no complaint and urged no revenge.

By using the key word "concession," he made sure there was no hint that somehow he thought he hadn't really lost and was simply withdrawing. Al Gore was brought up to be president, but he knows how to accept defeat. Whether his fellow Democrats accept it is less certain.

--BBC Radio

December 14, 2000

The challenge for bush

GREAT BRITAIN--Vice President Gore took the only honorable course. A win is a win, but the contentious victory of George W. Bush has created profound pressure on the U.S. president-elect to deal with the bitter divisions in his country before he confronts matters of policy.

Mr. Bush could show that he is a man of moderation or indeed a compassionate conservative by putting some distance between himself and the extreme right of his party, which surely cannot interpret the slim Republican victory as a mandate for renewed radicalism. Cohabitation with Congress should be a priority. It would be canny of him to appoint a couple of prominent Democrats to his administration.

--Financial Times

December 14, 2000

Washington awaits

GREAT BRITAIN--Al Gore's decision to stand down will help to lower the political

temperature in Washington. This may be a temporary display of harmony. Mr. Bush will surely need more than his fair share of fortune. The president-elect could help his cause by providing moderate Democrats with senior cabinet portfolios. He is not by temperament a crude partisan crusader. Mr. Bush has come this far by combining personal charisma with a shrewd series of appointments. He will require both these qualities and more to secure his authority in the White House.

--Times

December 14, 2000

America and its judges

FRANCE--The Supreme Court decision was a partisan decision. It gives precedence to the calendar rather than to the principle that each vote must count. At the most, it proves there is something wrong with the American democratic system.

Bush will be the first U.S. president in over a century to have been elected without the majority of popular votes. He is also the first to owe his election to America's judges, and not simply to the voters. This is not necessarily a good beginning.

--Le Monde

December 14, 2000

Elected by the judges

FRANCE--Bush becomes the first resident of the White House thanks to a judge's decision. He will have a hard time erasing from people's minds the fact that his victory was the result of a dubious struggle, crowned with a Supreme Court decision. The fact that America's democracy resisted against chaos is proof of its strength. But Bush will need much genius to reestablish political peace.

--Liberation

December 14, 2000

Winner and loser

GERMANY--Whether the nine judges have really acted in the best interests of the legitimacy and authority of the 43rd president, democracy, internal peace, and security, and the image of their own institution will not become clear until we know how the people respond to the verdict.

Bush will soon have to deliver on his election promise to be a healer rather than a divider. For all the disappointment among Democrats, it now looks as if there are some members of Congress at the center of the political spectrum who do indeed possess the stature required to seek limited cooperation. What is needed now is not only the leveling power of realpolitik, but also a shrewd victor and a magnanimous loser.

--Frankfurter Allegemeine

December 14, 2000

President by grace

GERMANY--The Supreme Court allowed itself to be dragged into the thicket of partisan disagreement. George Bush may be the next U.

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