Bush thanks Ohio
November 4, 2004
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This time it came down to Ohio. And this time it was a clear victory.
A crowd of Bush supporters in southwest Bakersfield’s Republican Party of Kern County headquarters clapped and shouted in joy Tuesday as the results of the presidential campaign came on their television screens.
It was another story at the Democrats’ election-day gathering in the Carpenter’s Hall in downtown Bakersfield. What was supposed to be a nightlong victory party ended early in the evening.
“The middle class should tighten their belts because it’s going to be a long four years,” said Duane Moore, chairman of the Kern County Democratic Party.
Moores said he was disappointed to see President Bush win even with a shaky economy and the situation in Iraq.
“People aren’t very intelligent,” he said. “They look at 30-second sound bites, and they don’t look at the facts. Poverty is rising, the middle class is struggling, and Iraq is a mess.”
Kevin McDermott, Republican Party of Kern County chairman, credited Bush’s win in part to the party’s efforts to get its conservative base to the polls.
“We were optimistic, we had great hope and we had a tremendous turnout,” he said.
Sen. John Kerry, speaking on CNN, gave his concession speech Wednesday after it became clear that he was not going to win the state of Ohio, effectively ending his hopes of capturing the White House. He had called earlier that day to congratulate President Bush.
“I spoke to President Bush, and I offered him and Laura our congratulations on their victory,” he told a crowd of supporters in Boston. “We talked about the division in our country and the need, desperate need, for unity. Today, I hope we can begin the healing.”
CNN reported that President Bush gave his victory speech from the Reagan building in Washington.
“America has spoken,” he said. He also made an appeal for unity. “I will need your support, and I will work to earn it,” he said, addressing those who had voted for his opponent.
At the time of Kerry’s concession, Bush had 51 percent of the popular vote and 274 electoral votes. Kerry