Nov 032004
 
Authors: Jesse McLain

President Bush won the second closest race of his life early

Wednesday morning.

“America has spoken and I am humbled by the trust and the

confidence of my fellow citizens,” Bush said in his victory speech

at 3 p.m. Wednesday Eastern Standard Time at the Ronald Reagan

building in Washington D.C. “With that trust comes a duty to serve

all Americans and I will do my best to do the duty every day as

your president.”

Final results released from key battleground state Ohio

solidified the Bush/Cheney victory over Democratic challengers

Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards.

Ohio State University junior David Feroz said he and his peers

knew their votes were important but didn’t realize just how

important.

“We knew we were a crucial state, I mean, we knew we were a

swing state, but I don’t think we knew our votes would basically

decide the president,” Feroz said. “Voting was mentioned in almost

all my classes. This election year especially, every vote

counted.”

President Bush delivered his victory speech an hour after his

opponent’s concession.

“We had a long night and we had a great night,” Bush said during

his speech. “The voters turned out in record numbers and delivered

an historic victory.”

Kerry called Bush to concede the race Wednesday morning.

“We had a really good phone call. He was very gracious,” Bush

said. “I want to thank the thousands of our supporters across our

country … And because you did the incredible work, we are

celebrating today.”

Edwards introduced Kerry during the senator’s concession speech

at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time at Boston’s Fanuil Hall.

“We will honor each one of you who stood with us and who stood

in line to change our country,” Edwards said as he introduced

Kerry. “We didn’t stop fighting for you when this campaign began

and we won’t stop fighting for you when this campaign ends.”

Kerry took the microphone after Edwards and began amid cheers

from unfaltering supporters.

“Earlier today I spoke with the president and I offered him and

Laura (Bush) our congratulations on their victory,” Kerry said. “We

spoke about the desperate need for unity in America. Today I hope

that we can begin the healing.”

Kerry continued by thanking his running mate, family, friends

and volunteers. He continued on with Edward’s theme of not giving

up the fight and graciously accepting defeat.

“I would not give up this if there was a chance that we would

prevail but it is clear that even when all the provisional ballots

are counted, which they will be, there won’t be enough outstanding

votes for us to win Ohio and therefore we cannot win,” Kerry said.

“In an American election there are no losers because whether or not

our campaigns are successful we all wake up in the morning

Americans.”

Kerry concluded by urging supporters not to give up.

“The time will come, the election will come, when your vote,

your ballots, will change the world.” Kerry said.

Bush’s victory themes echoed those during his presidency and his

campaign: the economy, winning the war on terror, strengthening

Social Security and family and faith values within public

schools.

Bush also designated a portion of his speech to Kerry

supporters.

“Reaching these goals will require the broad support of

Americans, so today I want to speak to every person who voted for

my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need

your support and I will work to earn it,” Bush said. “A new term is

a new opportunity to reach out to the whole nation. We have one

country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we

get together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness

of America.”

Republicans closer to home rejoiced along with the

president.

“I’m feeling great. What a wonderful day here in Colorado.

There’s just no question who won the election,” said Chuck Fogland,

president of CSU College Republicans. “The tone that John Kerry

gave through his speech and the tone that George W. Bush gave

through his speech goes a long way to bringing the Democrats and

Republicans together.”

Josh Metten, CSU Young Democrats vice president, said Democrats

in Colorado still had something to celebrate despite the

presidential loss.

“The way I’m feeling right now is that we did everything we

could. The Colorado State University campus was obviously in

support of John Kerry and it’s very disappointing when you work so

hard to get an entire campus behind you,” Metten said. “It’s really

baffling to me because I thought Colorado would go blue.”

This election ended relatively quickly, compared to the 2000

presidential election, which was not concluded until more than a

month after Election Day. CSU political science Professor John

Straayer, was not surprised by the Kerry’s early concession.

“I think it was pretty clear. If you had been talking about a

few hundred or even a few thousand votes that would have been

something different. (Kerry) had time to look it over and he did

look it over,” Straayer said. “Where you’re reasonably sure it’s

better just to be done with it.”

As different as the two races, speeches and candidates were,

both the president and the senator said the same three final

words.

“God bless America.”

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