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Thursday, 14 December, 2000, 05:55 GMT
It's over: Republicans celebrate
People watching TV
Patrons of the Front Page bar watch history
By BBC News Online's Kevin Anderson in Washington

In most bars across the United States, the televisions probably stayed tuned to hockey or college basketball, but at the Front Page in Washington, they were tuned to the speeches by Al Gore and George W Bush.

Unlike many of the bars on Capitol Hill which are known by party affiliation, the Front Page had a bi-partisan crowd, even if the Democrats were on one side of the bar and the Republicans on the other.

But there was a sense of bi-partisanship at the Front Page, in that, supporters of both parties were glad to see the 36-day election endgame over.

'Time to move forward'

Leigh Catherine Miles is an Al Gore supporter. She believes that if the recounts had been allowed to go forward that Al Gore would have won.
A barkeep turns up a television
TV's were tuned from sports to the speeches

"But I believe as an American citizen, at some time it has to end and we have to move forward," she said.

"It is a time for healing, it's a time to move forward as we move into the next administration," she said.

She believed that Al Gore needed to do the honourable thing and withdraw from the race, but she also said that George W Bush should be a gracious winner.

And she said that Mr Bush faces a tough test in the first few months of the election to prove that he is a uniter not a divider, as he said so many times during the campaign.

She said he had a tough row to hoe as he tried to work with almost evenly balanced Congress.

Glad it's over

Kenise Lyons, is an Al Gore supporter, but she said, "I am glad the struggle is over."

She stopped paying attention to the long process a while ago and made the decision not to pay attention again until it was over.

She expressed resignation at the outcome of the election, but she also said, "I'm fearful of his lack of foreign policy knowledge."
A front page from a newspaper at the end of WWII
Yes, the war for the White House was over

And she fears that the US will return to a period of isolation under Mr Bush.

But she added, "In a democracy, you have to deal with people who get in office who you didn't support, and the 'majority' - whether or not you believe that - elected him."

Celebration

The music was turned down, and the television volumes up, as Mr Gore took to the podium. There was polite applause when he finished.

But the mood began to change as the time for Mr Bush's address approached. A few Republican supporters started singing Queen's "We are the Champions."

There were high fives and cheers as the president elect was introduced.

It's like a dream come true

Brad Clanton, Republican staff House of Representatives

It cannot be stressed enough how happy Republicans are that Bill Clinton will be leaving the White House.

Brad Clanton is on the staff of the House Judiciary Committee, the committee that oversaw the impeachment of Bill Clinton in the House of Representatives.

"I think it's about time that we got rid of the corrupt sort of Clinton-Gore administration that we've had for the last eight years, and it's refreshing to have some good people like Governor Bush back in the White House," he said.

He added that Republicans have been waiting for so long for this period of corruption, deceit and mistrust to be over. "It's like a dream come true," he said.

But now, President-elect Bush will have to create some consensus amongst people who disagree on the issues.

"You have to work for compromise without demonising your opponents and people who disagree with you, and I think that is one of the things that we've seen with the Clinton-Gore administration is demonising with people who disagree with you rather than trying to reach consensus with them," he said.

He was impressed with Vice President Gore's speech, saying it was gracious in defeat, and he thought President-elect Bush said what the country needed to hear.

"We have to work together with each other and come to some agreement with each other about how we govern ourselves and have a rule of law," he said.

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See also:

13 Dec 00 | Americas
Analysis: What the ruling means
14 Dec 00 | Americas
The long road to the White House
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