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Gore Concedes

- GORE CONCEDES: Democrat Al Gore has given up his bid to become the next US President, conceding to Republican George W. Bush. Mr Bush tried to strike a conciliatory note in his victory speech, delivered an hour after Mr Gore’s concession, after the bitter struggle of the past few weeks. The man Mr Bush chose to introduce him is a Democrat.

Most agree Bush has an uphill battle ahead of him, especially as only the 4th president to have lost the popular vote. Gore’s hopes of victory disappeared yesterday, with a US Supreme Court decision that votes cannot be hand counted again in Florida. Gore said he strongly disagreed with the decision of the Court, but he accepted it.

The theme of Mr Gore’s address was unity, as was Mr Bush’s. Most commentators found Mr Gore’s speech gracious. What Gore does when his term as vice president ends in January next year is uncertain, but he has left open the possibility of another run at the presidency four years from now.

Bush’s win has raised hopes of progress on free trade in New Zealand. Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said she hoped to see real progress with the Bush win. Prime Minister Helen Clark said she anticipated no real change.

The result effectively ends the term of the US Ambassador Carol Moesley Brown, an appointment of the Democrat Clinton administration.

The ability of the inexperienced George W. Bush to lead the world’s only real superpower is being questioned by many commentators. But with a team stacked full of veterans from his father’s administration, he will be surrounded by experience.

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