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Friday, 15 December, 2000, 14:25 GMT
News Online readers sceptical on Bush

Within hours of the final result of the US election, hundreds of e-mails poured into BBC News Online with readers' verdicts on the outcome.

While some voiced confidence in the new president-elect, the most common reaction was alarm at the prospect of a George W Bush presidency.

We can only echo Mr Gore: God Save America

Sally McDonald, US
In response to a Talking Point question asking whether George W Bush would make a good world leader, a large majority of the emails received said no. Many were scathing in their remarks.

"This man isn't just dim, he's dangerous," wrote M Bailey from Brussels.

"The man is bereft of political experience or wisdom, and with a passion for legislated murder that surely terrifies anyone with a shred of a conscience," Jim Smith wrote from London.

"We can only echo Mr Gore: God Save America," wrote Sally McDonald from the US.


E-mails came in from every continent, concerned about the possible prospect of a more isolationist US foreign policy.

Many focused on his reported ignorance of world affairs and world leaders.

The people Bush has surrounded himself with are remarkably capable

John Hare, Texas
"It is extremely scary that the leader of the free world cannot name the leaders of India and Pakistan," wrote S Kennedy from Seoul.

Others recalled his public speaking blunders, astonished that someone so prone to making gaffes would now be the most powerful man in the world.

"The sheer lack of articulation and understanding of world issues is astounding," wrote Steve Lovell from Leeds in the UK .

"On a simpler note," he added, "why should we trust anyone who comes from a family where they name their progeny after themselves? "

Giving Bush a chance

I'd like to point out that we elect our president to run our country, not the world

James F, Washington DC
Some, like James F from Washington DC, were annoyed at the criticism, which he thought was unfair:

"My confidence in the USA's best friend, the UK, has been shaken by all these comments," he wrote.

"I'd like to point out that we elect our president to run our country, not the world."

And others were willing to give Mr Bush a chance.

"Let's wait and see. I hope that he will be less pro-Israel than Gore or Clinton and will be more pragmatic when dealing with the Middle East peace process," wrote Mohamed Benomar from Morocco.

However, many took cheer from his ability to delegate.

"The people Bush has surrounded himself with are remarkably capable. His practice of delegating authority will be well served," said John Hare in Texas.

Model of democracy?

Many were shocked not so much by the result, as the way in which it was reached, pointing to the fact that Mr Bush lost the popular vote.

Matthew Salter from London said: "America will no longer be able to lecture the rest of the world about the sacredness of democracy."

And Rita Kitto from Geneva wrote in with a sarcastic suggestion that she said could save Americans millions in tax-payers money.

"Next time, instead of running a presidential election campaign, why not just give the names of the two candidates to the Supreme Court and ask them to choose?"

If you would like the chance to add your comments to our Talking Point debate, fill in the form at the bottom of this page. If you include your telephone number we may also call you back to take part in our radio programme on this subject on Sunday on the BBC World Service.

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