Kerry Conceded article

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) won a second term from a divided and anxious nation, his promise of steady, strong wartime leadership trumping John Kerry (news - web sites)'s fresh-start approach to Iraq (news - web sites) and joblessness. After a long, tense night of vote counting, the Democrat called Bush Wednesday to concede Ohio and the presidency, The Associated Press learned.

Kerry ended his quest, concluding one of the most expensive and bitterly contested races on record, with a call to the president shortly after 11 a.m. EST, according to two officials familiar with the conversation.

The victory gave Bush four more years to pursue the war on terror and a conservative, tax-cutting agenda — and probably the opportunity to name one or more justices to an aging Supreme Court.

He also will preside over expanded Republican majorities in Congress.

"Congratulations, Mr. President," Kerry said in the conversation described by sources as lasting less than five minutes. One of the sources was Republican, the other a Democrat.

The Democratic source said Bush called Kerry a worthy, tough and honorable opponent. Kerry told Bush the country was too divided, the source said, and Bush agreed. "We really have to do something about it," Kerry said according to the Democratic official.

Kerry placed his call after weighing unattractive options overnight. With Bush holding fast to a six-figure lead in make-or-break Ohio, Kerry could give up or trigger a struggle that would have stirred memories of the bitter recount in Florida that propelled Bush to the White House in 2000.
Full story on CNN....

CNN) -- Democratic Sen. John Kerry phoned President Bush on Wednesday to concede the presidential election, a White House aide said.
Word of Kerry's phone call came a few hours after White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card announced that the Bush campaign was convinced the president had won re-election.

"President Bush decided to give Sen. Kerry the respect of more time to reflect on the results of this election," Card told GOP supporters at the Reagan Federal Building and International Trade Center in Washington. "The president will be making a statement later today."

Card said, "We are convinced that President Bush has won re-election with at least 286 electoral votes." (Transcript of Card's comments)

Ahead in the popular vote by more than 3.7 million votes, the president moved tantalizingly close to winning an Electoral College majority with a lead in the key battleground state of Ohio, though the Buckeye State remained too close for CNN to call. (Electoral College)

"President Bush's decisive margin of victory makes this the first presidential election since 1988 in which the winner received a majority of the popular vote," said Card, referring to the White House victory by Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush. "And in this election, President Bush received more votes than any presidential candidate in our country's history."

So far, Bush is projected to have won 28 states, with 254 electoral votes, and a win in Ohio would assure him of at least 274 votes, more than the 270 he needs for a majority Electoral College. (Small inroads make difference for Bush)

Kerry has a projected 252 electoral votes.

A top adviser for Kerry had said Wednesday morning the campaign would determine its plan of action after looking at the "real numbers" in Ohio. The adviser said the Kerry team "won't make this a mystery too long."

Sen. John Edwards told a crowd early Wednesday at Copley Square in Boston, Massachusetts: "We will fight for every vote. You deserve no less."

Card claimed an important psychological victory in the nation's popular vote and said that in addition to Ohio the campaign was putting Iowa and New Mexico in the "winner's column as well." (CNN has no projection yet for Iowa and New Mexico.)

Bush leads in Ohio by more than 136,000 votes, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to CNN data.

Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell issued orders for counties by 2 p.m. Wednesday to report total numbers of provisional ballots. Counting of those ballots will not begin until Thursday, according to Blackwell's directive.

It is not clear how long the ballot-counting will take. Initially, Blackwell said the counting of provisional and absentee ballots would not begin for 11 days.

He said he could not immediately put an estimate on the number of those ballots but said 250,000 might not be out of the realm of possibility.

While he said the exact number of provisional ballots was unknown, he said it is "trending toward 175,000."

Blackwell suggested that "everybody just take a deep breath and relax."

In another key battleground state, Kerry is projected the winner in Wisconsin.

Iowa election officials blamed broken machines, a delay in opening absentee ballots and apparent fatigue for delaying the secretary of state's report of a final count until some time Wednesday.

New Mexico is too close to call and will not release presidential election results until later Wednesday because thousands of absentee ballots remain uncounted, according to a spokesman for the secretary of state.

The key turning point in Tuesday's election came when Bush carried Florida, which the president won four years ago by just 537 votes after a lengthy dispute. This time around, though, there was no question who won the Sunshine State, where Bush's margin was more than 370,000 votes. (Special Report: America Votes 2004)

Few states switched from the party of four years ago. New Hampshire, which Bush narrowly won in 2000, went for Kerry. Bush has so far carried no state carried by Democrat Al Gore four years ago, although he leads in two, Iowa and New Mexico.

GOP projected to keep control of Congress

Republicans are projected to retain control of the House and Senate, adding to their majorities in both chambers with strong showings in Southern states. (Senate, House)

In South Dakota, former GOP Rep. John Thune claimed victory over the Senate's top Democrat, Minority Leader Tom Daschle.

GOP candidates are projected to win open Democratic seats in four Southern states and were ahead in a fifth, Florida. The party also is projected to keep vulnerable Republican seats in Oklahoma and Kentucky and to lead in a third, Alaska.

The only GOP setbacks were projected in Illinois, where rising Democratic star Barack Obama took the seat vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, and in Colorado, where Democratic Attorney General Ken Salazar is projected to beat beer magnate Pete Coors in the race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. (Senate)

Those results, coupled with the projected Daschle loss in South Dakota, would give the Republicans a net gain of four seats, making the lineup in the new Senate 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats and one independent.

Daschle could be the first Senate party leader to lose his seat in 52 years.

In the battle for the 435 House seats, Republicans are projected to retain their majority, winning 230 seats -- a net gain of at least four seats. CNN projects Democrats with 202 seats and one independent. (House)

Two more seats will be decided in a Louisiana runoff in December.

GOP candidates are projected to pick up six Democratic seats -- five in Texas, where a controversial redistricting plan pushed by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay redrew the state's map to make it more Republican-friendly.

In addition, two other veteran Texas Democrats forced by the new map to run against Republican incumbents -- Reps. Charles Stenholm and Martin Frost -- also are projected to lose.

Democrats are projected to take a Republican seat in Illinois, where Melissa Bean defeated veteran GOP Rep. Phil Crane.

If projections hold, it will be the sixth consecutive election in which the GOP has held the majority.

Of the 11 gubernatorial races, close contests are expected in Missouri, New Hampshire and Washington.

In Indiana, CNN is projecting a big win for former Bush administration official Mitch Daniels over Indiana Gov. Joe Kernan.

Ballot measures

Six months after gay and lesbian couples won the right to marry in Massachusetts, opponents of same-sex marriage struck back Tuesday, with voters in 11 states projected to approve constitutional amendments codifying marriage as exclusively being between a man and a woman.

California voters, who faced 16 statewide ballot measures, are projected to pass a measure to establish a constitutional right to conduct research using stem cells and to authorize $3 billion for such research.

A ballot measure approving the use of marijuana for medical reasons is projected to pass in Montana.

Colorado voters are projected to reject a proposal to change its winner-take-all to allocated electoral votes for presidential candidates.

A Florida measure to require parental notification before minors can obtain an abortion is projected to passed.

Gambling is another hot ballot issue, with six states deciding 13 measures.
Thank God it's over. Bush or Kerry didn't really matter too much to me. I just didn't want to see the same thing happen this year as in 2000. It was more of a global PR thing for me. Kinda hard to sell the idea of democracy when the whole world sees the machine break down. IMHO, i think Kerry did the right thing. Furthermore, i would hope the Bush would have done the same thing if Kerry had been ahead. It looks like Bush won this one as a close one, but not a squeaker like they thought might happen. I guess it doesn't matter who gets put in the whitehouse this time. Half the country was going to be pi$$ed either way;) Oh well, pick your poison. I guess it'll be ok to listen to a shoot-from-the-hip cowboy babble on and say utterly stupid things in front of 1000's of people. John Kerry would have just put me to sleep anyway. Not because wouldn't lead well or that he wouldn't have important things to say. It's just his monotone voice has the same white-noise effect on me as seashell. I just drift off to sleep when i listen to him.
What do you say guys? shake hands, make friends, and ride it out for another term? What's done is done. Maybe now people can get off the pins and needles and just get on with their lives.

I am glad he conceded. This country is too divided about all this already, I really did not want all that mudslinging. I am not happy Bush won. I would not have been happy with Kerry either. I voted like I always do, third party. I am a firm believer that the two party system is killing our country. I have multiple choices for everything but my politics here. It is just "US" against "THEM" and it don't matter who you think is which. This has to change if we are ever going to be the "UNITED" States of America. Two parties only leads to division and frankly neither one of them speaks for me. Sorry to rant, I have stayed out of all the political crap talking until now.
I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley
Great post, Gunz. My opinion exactly. I campaigned hard for Kerry. I think he would have been great, but it's over now. I respect him for conceding honorably. Much better than the Gore debacle.

I didn't want Bush to win, but he did. That's OK. No point in whining about it. Bush IS my president, and his policies guide my nation. Therefore, I will follow him. I may not always agree, but a divided nation is not a healthy thing, and said division certainly won't strengthen America.

If I countered anybody with my opinions, let it now be done. All you Bush supporters, you fought a good fight and won. I respect you all for your ideas and conviction.

Especially on this forum, let's forget politics for a while. We're all still good people who like the best khukuries in the world! :) So, back to knives, smoke, prayers, and great conversation. :)


P.S. Who's happy that it's all over?!? :) :D !!!!!!

PPS. I'm going to start a new thread w/ this same message.