U.S. newspapers react to presidential finale
(CNN) -- Vice President Al Gore's concession speech on
Wednesday night, and President-elect George W. Bush's
response, prompted a variety of reactions in U.S.
newspapers published Thursday morning. Here are some samples:
The New York Times:
Mr. Bush's address to an applauding audience in the Texas
House of Representatives chamber offered a hopeful note of
conciliation that has been missing in the last five weeks.
Mr. Gore cast his acceptance of defeat as a patriotic duty.
But he was within his rights to disagree firmly but
respectfully with the Supreme Court's rejection of a full
recount of all votes in Florida.
The Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Gore's concession last night was gracious and much
needed. It repairs some of the damage his unprecedented legal
challenge has wrought. .... But Mr. Gore's ferocious post-
election campaign is another story, which shouldn't now
vanish as if it were routine. He and four members of the
Florida Supreme Court are responsible for the political
wreckage since November 7.
The Washington Post:
The remarks of both men were gracious. The tradition of
reconciliation after even bitterly fought elections remains
strong, and in invoking it, both men offered welcome relief
from the scorched-earth tactics and rhetoric of the last five
weeks. They also sent the right message to their followers.
The Seattle Times:
Americans belatedly saw the best in the two candidates last
night. Gore was generous and self-deprecating when he
conceded and admitted he needed to mend fences --
figuratively and literally -- in Tennessee. An equally nice
touch was forthcoming from Bush .... The president-elect
focused on reconciliation and repairing the breach the
election revealed in the country.
This was not a night to acknowledge the underlying political
reality, but it nonetheless stands between Wednesday's high-
minded words and meaningful results. Much of the rhetoric of
the last five weeks has left wounds deeper than even a
perfect performance by Bush and Gore can heal.
The Arizona Republic:
Bush's speech struck some of the right notes. ... But he also
reiterated familiar campaign issues: Education, saving Social
Security, Medicare and presription drugs, tax relief, and a
bipartisan foreign policy. This hit a discordant note.
Americans are divided over these issues, and particularly
Bush's policies regarding them.
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Gov. Bush climbed onto that lonely tightrope where he must
try to deliver on his promise to be a "uniter, not a
divider." He had to begin reaching out to Gore voters, above
all to minorities who believe the outcome hinged in part on
their disenfranchisement. Last night, he made an encouraging,