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Kelly Wallace on Bush bidding Texas goodbye

Kelly Wallace  

White House Correspondent Kelly Wallace is reporting from Austin, Texas, where President-elect George W. Bush resigned as the state's governor to focus on his presidential administration.

Q: Who becomes Texas governor now?

WALLACE: Republican Lt. Gov. Rick Perry now becomes the official 47th governor of Texas. Perry is a Democrat-turned-Republican. He's a lifelong rancher, a former member of the Texas House of Representatives and a former agriculture commissioner in the state.

He has developed a close relationship with George W. Bush and most experts believe he is likely to govern in a way similar to George W. Bush.

Q: How long will his term be?

WALLACE: He will be governor for two years. Then in 2002, the next time Texas is to hold elections for governor, Rick Perry will likely run and obviously face a challenger in order to take on the role of governor for another four years.

Q: Do most Texans feel Bush is abandoning their state, or are they pleased he will serve as the nation's next president?

WALLACE: George W. Bush enjoys tremendous support in the state of Texas. He defeated a popular Democratic governor, Ann Richards, in 1994. He was re-elected in 1998. He had tremendous backing even as he left Texas throughout the past one-and-a-half years to campaign for the presidency.

When he was out of the state campaigning, Texans got pretty much used to the fact that their governor might become the next president. Overall, most Texans feel proud that someone here in Texas is going to go ahead and not just represent the state, but the entire country.

Texans believe that Bush will do what he did in the state of Texas when he goes to Washington and that is govern in a bipartisan manner.

Q: Do you think Bush will miss being governor?

WALLACE: George W. Bush told reporters that he is going to miss the Texas capital. It was clearly an emotional moment for Mr. Bush and his wife, Laura. You could see that they were both quite touched by the rousing reception they received as they entered the state Capitol.

Mr. Bush even appeared to wipe a tear from his eye when he said that the governor's mansion would no longer be the home for Mr. Bush and his wife, but that Texas would always be their home.

Mr. Bush definitely has close ties to the state. It is really where he got his experience to go on and pursue the presidency.

Not only did Bush talk about how he tried to be a good steward in the governor's office, but he also talked about how the office shaped him and how he learned the importance of diversity and how he tried to work with Democrats and Republicans alike.

So, it was an emotional moment as well as a significant one: Texas will have a new governor and George W. Bush will now focus solely on his efforts of forming a new presidential administration.




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Thursday, December 21, 2000

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