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Thursday, 7 November, 2002, 12:50 GMT
US press examines Bush's next move
Jeb Bush
There were no exit polls to forecast the winners

The ramifications of the Republicans' election win are still being assessed, but all the papers seem to agree on one thing about election night.

It was, said the Washington Times, "a return to a previous era" when reporters and citizens alike stood by to wait for each ballot to be counted by hand.

This is because the organisation tasked with providing exit polls chickened out at the last minute, leaving the news channels with nothing to report, until something actually happened. It is a situation they are unused to.

There is plenty of analysis of the result when it finally came, with the New York Times profiling the man behind it - the president's political adviser, Karl Rove.

It was Mr Rove, the paper says, who insisted that the president devoted the last five days before the election to a 17-city, 15-state blitz and campaign as if his political life depended on it.

Carte blanche?

USA Today cautions against hopes or fears that the president might now be able to do what he wants.

The likelihood of getting sweeping legislation done is very, very small, the paper says.

That is because Senate rules make it possible for a minority - even a single individual - to block legislation.

A filibuster of a bill, where opponents in effect talk it into oblivion, can be stopped only with a 60-vote majority. The president does not have that majority.

President George W Bush on the phone
Bush 'will not be able to do whatever he wants'
According to the Christian Science Monitor, Mr Bush now faces the classic scenario of being careful what you ask for because you might get it.

The president, the paper says, may find he has to spend much more time mediating policy differences between different wings of the Republican Party.

Not everyone is so mealy-mouthed. Republican gains in both chambers on election day gave Mr Bush "an even bigger cushion for blasting Baghdad" is the eye-catching view of the Washington Times.

And a letter in the tabloid New York Post is headed simply "With elections done the time to oust Saddam has come".

Happy hour

In California - as ever - they are more laid back. The Los Angeles Times has good news for disappointed Democrats or anyone else seeking to forget their troubles for a time.

Happy Hour is back, the paper says.

If you thought "Happy Hour was an old-fashioned relic from the days when two Martini lunches were de rigueur and when a man could call his secretary honey and feel good about it", you should think again, according to the paper.

Even in sophisticated LA, gimmicks to get drinkers to spend their cash are catching on once again.

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 ON THIS STORY
Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg
"There's a clear case there was a late lead for the Republicans"
Defeated Governor of New York Mario Cuomo
"I'm a Democrat and I feel the embarrassment"

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06 Nov 02 | Americas
06 Nov 02 | Americas
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