John Kerry has conceded, and President Bush is expected to declare his victory. That speech will be the first critical act of his second term. It needs to be humble, conciliatory, positive, respectful, encouraging, and unifying. These are not attitudes that Bush's speeches project very well. Whether the fault is in him or in his speechwriters, the ultimate responsibility lies with the one who speaks the words, and he needs to change his attitude and/or find himself some better speechwriters. Kudos to Kerry for having the grace not to subject the country to weeks of agonizing legal battles.
Bush will be working on the strength of the popular vote victory he didn't have last time, and of gains in both the House and the Senate. That's all the more reason he should be humble. The bitter fight is over, but the wounds are deep. Half the country is frustrated and unhappy—probably a great deal more than half, given the number of people who voted for Bush as the lesser of two evils. I am not suggesting the the President—or any of us—compromise on basic principles, but only that we desperately need to work together and find common ground and common good. Attitude is half the battle, and President Bush has another chance to prove himself a true leader. I pray that he has learned much from his mistakes of the past, and will have the grace and humility to lead the country in forgiving and in seeking forgiveness; in admitting fault and in setting right what is wrong; and in standing firmly for his principles while treating with respect those who would oppose him, always seeking for areas of agreement and recognizing that which is good in his opponents.
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, November 3, 2004 at 11:55 am | Edit
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Well, it wasn't all I wanted, but it could have been worse. After all the expressions of gratitude and congratulations, he spoke well of John Kerry, and reached out briefly to all Americans, hinting that his second term could be a new beginning. It's a start.

Posted by SursumCorda on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 at 3:32 pm
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