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Friday, 22 December, 2000, 15:54 GMT
George W Bush: Will he make a good world leader?
More than a month after the elections, we finally know that the next president of the United States will be George W Bush.
Following yet another defeat in the latest of his numerous legal challenges, Al Gore has conceded.
Foreign policy issues only played a marginal role in Governor Bush's campaign in the run-up to the election, and some observers have pointed out his lack of knowledge and experience in that area.
Will America's role in the world change? Or will the major policies remain the same? What do you expect in relation to your own country or region?
This was the subject of "Talking Point On Air" on December 17, 2000.
This Talking Point is now closed. A selection of your e-mails is posted below.
Mike H, England
A good world leader?
Do we speak about the same thing?
Mr. Bush is so far only the leader of
the United States, or I am wrong?
The US presidency battle raged on with a lot of emphasis of 'how boring/likable is the man'?
What does that have to do with politics? The people of America couldn't make their minds up, Florida made a pigs-ear of their election, and I just hope America can live with it.
Reagan wanted to blow half the world away, Bush doesn't seem to know half the world exists.
Stuart I.R, UK
Those who voted for a "lightweight" president with good advisers would of course be happy to have a "lightweight" dentist or surgeon operate on them with a good set of advisers?
I think it's extremely unfair of all these people to criticise Mr Bush for the outcome of the elections. I believe that both candidates were equally capable of leading the country and wish we could have two Presidents. Unfortunately, the American Constitution does not work like that and they had to make a decision within a certain period of time. Whatever the outcome, the whole country is bound to that result, so should the whole world.
I'm shocked at the hostility towards George W! You worry about "foreign policy!" Many have obviously forgotten Clinton was nothing more than the governor of a tiny, unimportant state (Arkansas). Mr Bush has been governor of Texas (an area and population larger than most European countries; with a more diverse population). Some claim him dim! A Harvard, Yale graduate! I shall also point out that the United States is a Republic NOT a democracy so popular vote means nothing. It gives small, low-population states equal representation in the presidential election. We're just glad the Clinton-Gore years are over!
Paul B, London, UK
Bush voters elected him to be President of the United States, not leader of the world.
Bush isn't the be-all and end-all of the government in the US. Granted he is less
experienced etc, but he does seem to have the sense to delegate. Some of the
major problems in history have been caused by people who have to be the controlling
force for every decision - it's just not possible for a country the size of the US
A world leader is someone who recognises that the world is much bigger than the confines of his or her pond. Mr. Bush, I'm afraid, doesn't know a whole lot about what is happening outside America or does not seem to care.
Give the man a chance. He hasn't even been in office yet, and these non-Americans already know what the president-elect of the United States of America will do! We Republicans had to give Clinton/Gore a chance twice. Is there peace in the Middle East yet? No! Is there peace in Northern Ireland? No!
In Governor Bush, America has found itself a true successor to the Reagan presidency; hard-line, right-wing economics, diplomatic isolationism and an (if possible) more extreme approach to crime and punishment. All of this combined with an over-dependence on equally extreme advisers and a distaste of policy minutiae - the world, particularly the middle east and central Africa, has better gird itself for a collapse in any sense of American global leadership.
M. Yasiri, Eden Prairie -USA
I think George Bush will make an excellent President. Most people overseas do not understand the reason for having the Electoral College. I agree with the person that wrote in: "We elect our President to run our country, not the world".
I think the reason that many overseas people are afraid of George W is because they are afraid that he will cut aid to them! Rightfully so! The US is not the 911 of the world.
A delegator - at last. At least the Americans will not have to worry about "control freakery at the heart of government", which we in this country have to put up with.
Malcolm Coelho, London, UK
George W. Bush will most likely prove himself to be the most inept president since Gerald Ford but hopefully Dick Cheney will appoint an experienced cabinet to make up for the president-elect's inexperience and sheer ignorance.
President-elect Bush, unlike the Democratic Presidents and Party, has demonstrated that colour is no barrier to ability. We blacks who support the Republicans have continually noticed that the GOP continues to act by putting blacks in high and responsible positions while the Democrats only depend on them for their undiluted support. It is high time that African-Americans wake up and smell the coffee and recognise who their real friends are.
Ivor B. Ford, St. John's, Antigua/ Barbuda
You need look no further than to Bush's ability to co-opt the opposition into bosom allies to appreciate his potential on the world stage. And, regardless of your personal position on the death penalty or gun control, Bush's position on these issues demonstrates his alignment with his constituency rather than bowing to the fuzzy dangerous ideals espoused by the media and their phosphor drugged adherents.
George W. Bush is far from being a weak president. I am curious to know why so many people are putting him down when they know so little about him.
How can a man who knows almost nothing
about foreign policy be a good world leader?
I find it troubling and absurd that Dubya George Bush is stepping into the shoes of America's finest-ever president. He is undeserving of the office, and gloats at the death penalty like a wild inbred. In getting him elected, the GOP has committed one more crime in its evil progression. President-elect he may be, but he isn't the leader of my free world.
The numbers of Americans joining the U.S. military has been declining and the
threats to U.S. strategic interests are now in the Middle East, Asia and South
and Central America. Under a Bush Administration, there will be a shift in
U.S. foreign policy to these areas. When the U.S. military is involved, there
will be less attention given to humanitarian, peacekeeping and nation-building
activities. The Bush Administration will be a geopolitical one and its
military will be focused on geopolitical problems of terrorism weapons of mass
destruction, cyber-warfare and missile proliferation.
I think George Bush may have to depend too much on his advisors. If it
comes to the crunch to make a hard decision, can he do it responsibly? If
he does not personally know how that decision will effect the people he is
making that decision on, then this may well cause more problems for the USA
and the hatred towards it by many countries in the world.
Having to rely on Colin Powell and Condolezza Rice is not a good sign at all.
Tan Soon Hui Singapore
We think that it is a very bad thing that George W. Bush came to power. He does not give enough importance to the environment, to climate change and to global warming. The fact that America has the highest consumption of energy pro capita should incite the U.S. to assume a more responsible attitude towards the global environment. The new administration will tend once more to put the economic interests, especially those of oil companies, above the urgent necessities of structural ecological change in the oil dependent economies of America and the world.
For conferences about emission quotas and global agreements, such as the one wish recently failed in The Hague the objectives and the philosophy of the new administration could represent a frightening future.
I think for most of us in Pakistan it would be indifferent to
us. The only way it would affect a middle class Pakistani would be
economy, the US dollar and the Pakistani rupee that is.
During Bush-Gore debates I found Bush having greater moral and religious values. He sounds humble and down to earth. The majority of the six million Muslims of America has voted for Bush. This was a pre-planned move decided during the pro-Palestine rally held recently in Washington DC in front of the White House. It was no surprise that the rally was not shown on television in spite of massive media coverage during the rally. I hope that Bush not only helps a majority of Americans with their religious beliefs and moral values, but also makes the world a more peaceful place to live in.
As a British citizen living in Seychelles I am somewhat bemused
by the relevance of a discussion on the effect of George Bush's presidency
to the rest of the world. We can talk all you want but in the end George Bush
will do what all politicians do - anything to win another election. Bosnia,
Somalia, India, Russia, the Middle East - it doesn't matter what is good for
the areas, so long as it is good for Bush's domestic ratings. Why worry
about what will happen because it's all about George Bush's (and other
Politicians') desire for power, and nothing else.
Surely the point about the American election was how close it was: The Americans didn't see much to distinguish them, why should the rest of the World?
Mary H. Cruz, Florida, USA
HELP! America (and possibly the world is heading into the darkness of Middle ages). Isn't there still a way to stop Bush from becoming a president?
You ask will Bush be "a good world leader?" Are you speaking of the same Bush who actually has bragged of not reading the international section of the newspaper? The same Bush who cannot name a significant book he has read? The same Bush who has set foot outside the United States three brief times? The one who cannot stand meetings? The one who has people read briefing papers to him? Who never works a full business day as Governor of Texas? And the one who retires about nine o'clock every night...
I think Mr Powell will be a good sec. of state and will compensate Bush's lack of knowledge. I think Europe, at least the pro-Europeans, have to be glad when the US is going to be a bit more isolationist because Europeans now have to care for themselves, which raises the need for increased European co-operation.
As the new U.S. President Bush was entirely elected with money provided
by the major oil companies and the U.S. arms industry, his overseas policy should
be obvious to all but the totally naive. His political appointees in the next few
weeks will also reflect his paymasters policy in the search for ever increased
profits and world domination regardless of the cost to the rest of the planet.
Steven Lange (US citizen), Germany
Al Gore may have been part of a sleazy leftish political machine, but George Bush is an inexperienced, lightweight empty suit, puppeteered by the sleazy right GOP powers. It still amazes me that my nation's political system laboured so long and mightily to produce two such noisome gnats.
President Bush is not a power-crazy "democrat". Therefore, unlike Gore and Clinton, he knows that the role of the president is a role of servant and not master.
The "God save us" cries of the "democrats" are just reminiscent of their view for democracy: "we're the democrats, thus we're entitled to government, no matter what the people want". Like Gore, who tried to manipulate the election result!
Nikki, Perth, Australia
I just don't understand those people who are waging a cheap talk war against Bush, when nobody knows yet, through his actions, if he will be an able President or not.
His nomination of Colin Powel as SOS an give vital message to world on his foreign policy. It seems G.W Bush is going to be a tough president for nations like Iraq. But GWB will have to strive hard to himself a good world leader.
Did I miss something? WORLD leader? I was unaware that world elections were being held. Or is this one of those American things, like the World Series, where the rest of the planet is excluded to ensure a USA victory? As American leader however, I suppose he can't do any more damage than Reagan.
Those who think the election of Bush was a mistake are those who wish for America to remain weak and timid. The world is a dangerous place. Clinton/Gore, with their reliance on polls and the back of the American worker, partied for 8 years and reaped the rewards of the economic policies of those that came before them. The Clinton/Gore experiment is finished. It is time for America to continue fulfilling it's destiny as an economic, cultural, and military leader under the leadership of G.W. Bush and his staff.
Ann Smith, Virginia, USA
Bush is just the mannequin in the window. The real president is Dick Cheney and the likes of Tom DeLay and Trent Lott. Learn about these men and be afraid!
I cannot understand why so many people are scathing about Mr Bush.
His ignorance of the world outside the USA is not abnormal for an American.
I am sure his advisors will put him right on foreign affairs.
Whether or not the right man won, the wrong one didn't. The prime requirement of the US President is that he puts country before self or party: a criterion that clearly excludes Gore, who should never have been allowed near the White House, not as candidate, not as VP. That he was constitutes a failure and condemnation of the political process. And ours is no better. How do you choose between Blair and Hague, between - in the Lincolnshire phrase - muck and nettles?
John Grace, Edmonton, Canada
The hand is now dealt. Whatever your feelings towards either candidate, give George W Bush a chance.
He knows he has to compromise to find the middle ground, since his was not an outright victory.
Richey Smith, Wales
I think that some people are judging Bush rather harshly because they are concerned about his
"foreign policies" - but we don't know what he is going to do yet. Maybe we should wait a while before we condemn. We "jolly foreigners" might be pleasantly surprised.
I recall similar aspersions were cast on Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, indeed, any state governor who gets elected president but is unknown abroad. The fact is, three of the last four US presidents have been state governors without experience at the national and international level. In that same period of time we have seen the Camp David accords, the collapse of communism, victory in the Gulf War, and the longest period of prosperity in our history. Somehow these alleged country rustics were able to bring that about.
I did not vote for this man and I have no idea how he will turn out. I am always amused, however, by judgments from abroad which exult in the supposedly imminent US debacle. Some of the comments in this feature, however, carry schadenfreude to a new high. I am inclined to think they say much more about the persons making the remarks than about any pending US disaster.
After reading the negative comments from the mostly liberal Europeans, I am convinced that George Bush will make a fantastic president. Finally, an American leader who puts American interests first.
I pray for our country and the world now that Bush is to be our next president. The environment will continue to be headed for disaster at such a critical time when the world needs to unite in order to help heal our polluted planet as he is poised to further promote offending corporations so that they will be given a free rein to continue their poisonous policies.I am also concerned that Bush will want to lavish funds on the military and promenade its prowess around the globe.
George Bush is an able, intelligent, decent man with degrees from both Yale and Harvard He has experience in the "real world" of business, both success and failure. He served as an F-102A fighter pilot, and for 6 years as Governor of one of the largest states in the US. The issues he discussed in the campaign were essentially the same as Gore; however, his solutions are different.
He has as much foreign policy experience as did his predecessor, Bill Clinton, former Governor of one of the smallest states in the US. Prior to becoming President in 1945, President Truman had very little foreign policy experience; yet, he brought about the Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift. Bush's judgment, wisdom, and courage will determine how successful his foreign policy will be over the next 4 years... as well as the events themselves that no one can predict, and that no one controls.
Why is the world judging a man they know little off so harshly? This was the way Ronald Reagan was judged many years back. Even Bill Clinton, how many of us REALLY gave him a chance? This is the genius of American resiliency - when you least expect them to act, then they shine.
Yes, by all civilised norms Gore won, and the US election has become a bad joke, and yes, Bush looks ignorant and not exactly quick, but that is America's business. They have chosen him - at least their law says so.
For the rest of us, the less Bush will stick his nose out of the US affairs, the better. Isolationist trends in the U.S. are a blessing for all other nations.
To hear all this pre-inaugural criticism from our British friends is to be expected (since we do it to them), but to hear the same from all of you Americans, what a disappointment! Can't you at least wait for ONE official executive action from the man before you attack him?
The very idea about G. Bush as a world leader is wrong. World is ruled by the "Big Money". Bush has no more influence than my cat.
Just because Bush's ideas may sound good, it doesn't mean they are. Tax cuts mean less revenue for the state, so spending has to be cut. Without more money, education won't improve. If you think that the "pop-science" environmental theories will make life unliveable, wait and see how life will be in fifty years' time without environmental controls now. And then there's the Star Wars defence programme.
If US security is the issue, wouldn't it be better to show the "Red Chinese" that it is not in their interests to bomb, rather than spend billions of dollars on a system which will never be used? For, if there were a nuclear war, it wouldn't matter whether anyone could actually hit the US with a bomb: the fallout would kill everyone in the US as much as it would kill everyone else in the world. The Chinese understand this; it is a pity that Bush doesn't.
I think Bush will do a good job. And why shouldn't he? He is humble, he has resolve, rock solid beliefs, and a very capable team. He has continued to surprise his even his most cynical detractors. When Clinton first came to power, people thought he was inept, as well. He surprised many too (and I'm a Republican!).
Kenneth Berthiaume, University of Iowa, USA
George Bush may not be a world-class intellectual, but he is just the kind of American (and world) leader who is most desperately needed now. You can count on his good-old-American common sense, humility, practicality, and ability to surround himself with extremely competent advisors. What our country did NOT need now is his opponent, an arrogant "intellectual" intent on micro-managing government (and our lives), and promoting American intervention and "nation building" overseas.
Give the man a chance, if it means a little US isolationism that might actually be a good thing. The real worry is that the US will now continue to pollute and the world will continue to warm, I suggest moving to higher ground.
I've read a large portion of the comments submitted about George W. Bush, needless to say, I feel most are judging a man they know nothing about. Some call the man a fool and incompetent - the list goes on and on. The fact of the matter is, GWB received degrees from two of the nation's most prestigious universities. He is a reserved man with marked intelligence. The truth is, he doesn't have much world-wide experience, but many of this nation's greatest presidents have been ridiculed and berated until they proved to the American public and the world that they could lead the world's most powerful Nation; namely, FDR, Reagan and yes, even Clinton.
Until GWB has entered his place atop the world stage, no one has a basis to judge his actions as President. I think Americans and the world may be surprised at his success.
Many other policy points are more frightening. Bush's strong advocacy of a National Missile Defence is misplaced in this post-Cold War world. His generally isolationist foreign policy ignores the fundamental truth of American post-Cold War foreign policy and globalisation in general - there is little that does not effect American interests and values.
I am an American without party loyalty who initially supported Gore. I have spent a fair amount of time in the UK, and I realise that you often are not exposed to the details of what transpires here. The details indeed vindicate the Bush presidency. I am satisfied with the result. The UK is our closest friend in the world as well as a nation I am quite fond of, and I assure you that both America and Britain will benefit from this result. The people Bush has surrounded himself with are remarkably capable. His practice of delegating authority will be well served.
The American constitution and our rule of law should send a subtle message to the world: this is the reason the US is the longest standing republic in the world. Events like this would topple some other countries. That didn't happen here.
Being elected to the planet's most powerful position by less than half of the population of his country is bad enough, but bringing at the same time no great burden of preconception about world affairs promises disaster. In his position, he had better become a statesman!
Just because Bush has made a few mistakes does not mean that he is an airhead in world politics. His record shows that he has been an able Governor in Texas. Bush is surrounded by a top quality Foreign Policy team not only that but receiving his father's legacy of uniting the Western world after the fall of communism to face new issues in the Persian Gulf. Don't judge too soon.
Without prejudice - America will be never be the same for the first four years!
In these terrible days, when we have seen our election stolen in a manner we normally lecture other 'developing' countries against, it is very gratifying to see that someone SOMEWHERE gets it. The comments on this page are so accurate that I am all the more amazed at my own countrymen for being less perceptive about Bush than BBC viewers are.
Sally McDonald, USA
Why is everyone so surprised at the election of George W. Most Americans are apolitical, know very little about their local governments let alone the world. A huge percentage of the people do not vote and if they do, their vote is based on who is wearing a nicer suit or dress or who is supporting a better hair style.
My confidence in the USA's best friend, the UK, has been shaken by all these comments. I'd like to point out that we elect our president to run our country, not the world, and it's up to the world whether they accept him. I can't believe all these people accept Clinton, who has disgraced us, and aren't even willing to give Bush a chance. As for catching up with the rest of the world, send us Margaret Thatcher and I'll vote her in.
The last time a few Englishmen thought our leaders were not the leadership type, I think we formed a fairly successful country and as far as delegation of power that's the sign of a good leader. Only those who think they know everything and don't need help are those who are doomed to failure. George W. will shine.
Jim Smith, London, England
I think he will be mostly just a figurehead, he more or less admitted that himself. I watched
him last night talking about how he likes to delegate. Of course he does, he's too dumb to do
anything himself, he has to delegate.
No - Dubya is an ignoramus who in this election has shown scant regard for democracy. He knows little of the world and does not have the powers of concentration or the attention span demanded of an international figure, therefore I do not believe he will be a good world leader. The upside is that he is not going to be the leader in this presidency. Dubya will be surrounded by advisors who are men and women of experience and knowledge, and who will be the ones taking the real decisions. Whilst it is clear that Bush has won this election by intimidation and fraud, there is one good thing to come out of the whole sorry mess - America will no longer be able to lecture the rest of the world about the sacredness of democracy and the importance of law and order. Dubya himself got to the White House by nepotism.
Kiyomi, Mönchengladbach, Germany
George is, if nothing else, very representative of the American population. With this said, I shed a tear knowing that this is true. How much do you want to bet that he doesn't know what the UK prime minister's name is?
Alex V., Northern Virginia, USA
I know it was his most celebrated gaff, and that it is now seen by many as just unfortunate, but it seriously worried me that the prospective leader of the most powerful nation on planet Earth was unable to name the leaders of a sixth of the population! It demonstrates that the Bush team do not view foreign policy as a high priority, but an isolationist USA is simply inconceivable in this day and age. God help us all.
It is worth pointing out that during the campaign, the Republicans have been reduced to defending Mr. Bush's record by claiming that the governor of Texas doesn't have much power to wield! Furthermore, he is blind and ignorant to vital environmental issues, almost symbolises the nations dismal human rights record, and is extremely unlikely to act to clean up the horrible campaign financing system.
As a partisan Democrat I am appalled at this result. However, like most Americans I recognize Bush is the legal President-elect. This does not mean that we accept him as legitimate. The goal know is majorities in the Congress in 2002 and defeat of Bush in 2004. Also, for those outside of the US there is little affection for Gore in the Democratic Party. Do not look for him to be accepted as the candidate. And, as for world leader: Bush can not even lead his own country and knows about as much about it (outside of Texas) as he knows of the world.
M. Ferguson, UK
Bush will just be a puppet to big business and the real string-pullers in the US Govt - it'll be at least 4 years before there's anyone with a positive IQ in the White House (Hillary Clinton?).
Though he shot himself in the foot by not allowing Clinton to campaign on his behalf and by his party's acceptance of the ballot design, I am disappointed on Gore's behalf that a candidate polling a third of a million votes more than his opponent is not elected - the will of the people, More disappointing still is that by conceding so late he may have destroyed his chance of winning the Democrat nomination in 2004.
Watch Bush sink into obscurity and take the UK-US 'special' relationship with him.
Phil Escolar, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
How can Josh Thomas possibly say the will of the people was done when the man who won the popular vote is not actually the president? And according to stories on this website he won it by some 50 million votes. Will of which people exactly? Whilst it is still obviously far too early to judge president-elect Bush's ability to be a truly international leader, let's look at the things we already know. He wants to withdraw American influence from areas all over the world, can't name world leaders and has only been in politics for 6 years, hardly the qualities of an elder statesman. Having said that it appears he will have several experienced and worthy people in his cabinet (Dick Cheney and Colin Powell amongst them).
The world coped with that other intellectual giant, Ronald Reagan, for 8 long years. Let's just hope this is only for 4 years. Then bring on the next Clinton (Hilary)/Bush (GW) election. She will run rings around him. About time America had a female president and caught up with the rest of the "free" world.
A spoiled rich kid who doesn't want to work. Personal profit before environment. A few wars maybe, that otherwise wouldn't have happened? The rich get richer, the poor get poorer still. Will Kalki rescue us in 2003?
Neil Halliday, Croydon, UK
I suspect we will see many parallels with the Reagan years - a charming lightweight advised by hawks. World Peace will remain shimmering on the horizon throughout this administation. It is indeed a sad day for the international community.
Mr Bush says that he is "pro life"
and yet he is also very pro death penalty
and pro guns.
I've just had a brilliant idea that 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 2 candidates to the
Supreme Court and ask them to choose?
As an American living abroad who happily has been able to deal with this whole mess of an election from afar, all I can say is--Thank God, Bush has a team of advisors.
Randy Simmons, Burlington USA
The US have consistently promoted 'freedom' and 'democracy' around the globe, and have been able to point at there own country as a model. The model is now tainted. Bush didn't win the majority of the popular vote, and effectively 'stole' Florida's electoral college votes (and so the election) by using his friends in high places - he has no moral mandate within his own country and so the world is left without a model, and indeed is left with an encouragement to those who would seize power without 'the will of the people'.
Derek Mcintosh, Aldershot, England
The real winner was capitalist big business. And when the global economy goes down the pan in a few months time
because profit-driven market forces are fundamentally uncontrollable, and
inevitably produce severe downturns every now and then, will all those then
suffering from unemployment, poverty, unpayable debts, pathetically low welfare
benefits, mental anguish and the like, still feel that a free market politician was the right choice to make?
The most powerful leader in the world, who doesn't know the names of half of the other leaders! Scary to say the least. Bush better not have any skeletons in the cupboard, because if he does, this could be a bumpy ride in the White House.
John Thomas, Bristol, England
George Bush will have a tough time as leader due to the 50-50 split in the Senate.
As for his knowledge of Foreign affairs - well, enough said.
A President who doesn't know who is the Prime Minister of the world's most populous democracy, India ?
It makes you shudder at the prospect !
I personally think he is incompetent and will not be able to keep up the role of 'world leader' as Clinton has for the past 8 years. I think it is a disaster for the rest of the world, not just the USA. Al Gore deserved to win the election because of the popular vote and the courts should have ruled a recount or revote, without this how can you have democracy?
I believe the Republicans have shown the world that there is no democracy in the USA. After so many republican-monitored mischiefs, Mr. Gore lost an election he has clearly won. Shame on the US and its Republicans for such an unfair and undemocratic election. I am sure George Bush will make a mess of his 'job' at the White House.
M. Bailey, Brussels, Belgium
Having read the replies so far, mainly from the USA, it seems that Bush lives up to his name - just a little shrub! Just to make it a little clearer, the ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA describes a shrub as any woody plant that has several stems, none dominant and when much-branched and dense, it may be called a bush. I rest my case!
So far, Bush's conduct has left much to be asked for. In contrast to Gore, he has resorted to every means to ensure his presidency despite any poll-result.
Also, Republican supporters have moved to a very partisan attitude and would not be content with anyone but Bush grasping the Presidency.
This all means, that Gore may morally and by popular vote be the better president, but Americans should find it easier to rally behind Bush.
Thus, ironically, the Republican president elect has the best possible chance of becoming a good president, only because his Democratic adversaries behaved so much better than him.
Graham Dewar, NY, USA
B.H. Thomson, Seattle, USA
There's no reason why Dubya can't be a good world leader. With his conciliatory words to democrats and a strong team behind him he could be great, despite his shortcomings of lack of experience and disinterest in detail. The world watches and waits.
We always say "may the best man win". Today the best man lost!
Steve Lovell, Leeds, UK
I don't think that anyone as obviously xenophobic as GWB can possibly do well on a world stage. He has a tough act to follow. IMO President Clinton has been the best president that the US has had for many years. I wait to see what develops.
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.
For every person serving abroad in international organisations for human development, this is a sad day! Bush has reiterated over and over that he will cut support in these fields. The world from now on to 2004 will be a sad place to live.
Clement Chiwaya, Malawian/ USA
America's role in the world will most assuredly change from one that was knee-jerk and poll driven to one that has America's best interests at its core. No longer will our troops be used as humanitarian peacekeepers or garbage collectors to the world. Sorry, Mr Blair. I know you wanted Mr Clinton's next in-line, but you will have to deal with a Conservative who will make you think before you act.
George W. Bush might be the biggest reason I should move back to the UK!
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