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US Presidential Election 2004

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US Presidential Elections
President Bush is leading the race for the White House, but the result appears to hinge on the state of Ohio, which is still too close to call.

LISTEN
What is the feeling like in John Kerry's camp now he has admitted defeat in the US Presidential election?

How different will the new Bush administration look from the old one? Jim Naughtie has more.

What will four more years of a Bush Presidency mean for America and the world? Jim Naughtie is in Washington.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on how George Bush's re-election to office will affect Europe.

Jim Naughtie reports on what will be the first items to be argued about in the new Bush administration.

What happen now that the American Presidential elections are over? Jim Naughtie looks to the future.
LISTEN
George Bush is leading John Kerry 249 to 221 votes. Jim Naughtie has more.

Brian Hanranhan is in Kerry's camp in Boston and Steve Evans is in Bush's camp in Washington giving us the reactions from both areas.
 
John Kerry's camp has released a statement saying that the result for Ohio is still undecided. Jim Naughtie and Justin Webb report.

How will the American result affect the people of Westminster and Downing Street? Norman Smith.

Jim McDermott, Congressman from Washington State, talks to Jim Naughtie.

Although John Kerry's camp started the night on a happy note, the mood slowly changed. Justin Webb reports.

American polster Frank Luntz on why we shouldn't believe what the exist polls say, as they have been wrong so far.

Jim Ruffello, Chair of John Kerry's campaign in Ohio, on whether he thinks the Democrats can still win.
 
John Edwards makes a speech stating that every vote will be counted and the race is still undecided.

Brian Hanranhan reacts to the statement made by John Edwards and discusses what they need to win.

Jim Naughtie gets reaction from a republican in Bucks County and a Democrat in West Virginia.

With the Democrats fading fast, we get reaction from Steve Evans in the Bush headquarters, Michael Buchanan on Ohio, Senator George Mitchell, Congressman Jim Colby and Justin Webb.
 
What has been the international reaction to the election results so far? Tim Franks is in Brussels, James Reynolds is in Jerusalem and Caroline Wyatt is in France.

Sir Christopher Meyer, former British ambassador in Washington and Philip Lader, former American ambassador in London react to the election results so far.

What effect will the US election result have on British politics? Former foreign secretary Robin Cook and former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith discuss.
 
Historian Simon Schama on the importance of this election result.

Jim Naughtie summaries the night so far with George Bush predicted to win the US Presidential election 2004.
LISTEN
The polls will open soon on the East Coast of the America. Jim Naughtie is there.

Jim Naughtie is in Washington on the morning the polls open in the US to choose the next President.

Jim Naughtie looks at the finer points of the American election.

On the day that America votes for its new President, Jim Naughtie looks backwards at the last few weeks and forward to the future.

Jim Naughtie speaks to Barack Obama, the man tipped to be the next Senator of Illinois.

Editor of The Economist, Bill Emmott, and Alan Duncan, Conservative foreign affairs spokesman, discuss whether a change of US President would make a difference to Britain.
LISTEN
Jim Naughtie on how the American Presidential candidates are spending their final 24 hours of campaigning.

With 24 hours to go in the American election, is it still too close to call? Jim Naughtie reports.

What is the general feeling across America in the final few hours before voters go to the poll? Jim Naughtie.

Jim Naughtie on the final 24 hours of frantic travelling by the Presidential candidates to try and win the swing votes.

What is it like to be in one of the swing states in the US on the day before the election? Jim Naughtie reports.
LISTEN
Osama Bin Laden threatens America in a broadcast aired days before the US presidential election.

Jim on US reaction to the videotape featuring Osama Bin Laden  aired on Friday which threatens America.

A musical take on the US elections.

US Election Song
LISTEN
Jim Naughtie follows the US campaign trail in Philadelphia with only days to go until the election.

Are nerves starting to get to George Bush in the final few days of campaigning? Jim Naughtie reports.
 
Jim Naughtie reports from Virginia where feelings are running high over next week's election.
LISTEN
Jim Naughtie reports on the final few days of the race for the White House.

What impact will the subject of the economy have on the American election? Jon Manel.
LISTEN
Bill Clinton brought a new lease of life to the Kerry campaign last night. Jim Naughtie was there.
 
Jon Manel explains why embryonic stem cell research is one of the key election issues in the Presidential race.

Jim Naughtie is in Philadelphia for the final leg of the US Presidential campaign.
LISTEN
25/10/04
Are Democrat prospects looking up now Bill Clinton has joined the election campaign trail?

Jon Manel looks at which US policies could affect British voters in the run up to the US election.
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23/10/04
Given that the US elections will decide the leader of "the free world",  would we be within our rights to have a say?
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14/10/04
Who won last night's Bush-Kerry debate? Justin Webb was there.

Justin Webb and George Bush's campaign manager, Ken Mehlman, weigh up which candidate
LISTEN
13/10/04
Justin Webb has details on the third and last debate between the American presidential candidates in the run-up to the elections.
LISTEN
08/10/04
Round two of the US presidential election debates takes place in St Louis tonight. Justin Webb.
LISTEN
06/10/04
Senator Kerry's advisor, Joe Lockhart, weighs up who won the televised vice-presidential debate last night.
LISTEN
05/10/04
American Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic rival John Edwards go head to head in a televised debate tonight.

Justin Webb weighs up each of the candidates in tonight's televised debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards.
LISTEN
01/10/04
Who came out on top in the televised Presidential debate last night? Justin Webb.

Former adviser to President Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, and President Bush's former speech writer, David Frum, reflect on last night's televised showdown.
LISTEN
17/09/04
The US presidential race shifts focus, with TV ads debating the candidates' healthcare policies: Justin Webb reports.
LISTEN
15/09/04
Is something going very wrong with John Kerry's campaign to become president? Justin Webb reports from Washington, plus Baroness Williams (Lib Dem) gives her prediction on who's likely to win.
LISTEN
13/10/04
The latest salvo in the Bush versus Kerry 'who served where and when in the military' debate, as Democratic supporters launch a new TV ad.
US Presidential Elections 2004

The party which loses the presidential poll will have to think about re-inventing itself.
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HERE ARE SOME OF YOUR COMMENTS:

I do hope that you have put me on your Christmas card list! When Kerry was ahead by a couple of points, just after the Democrat's convention, and your programme was pumping out "Bush's campaign is rubbish" pieces I pointed out to you that as the two candidates were running neck and neck you ought to point out that Kerry's campaign was rubbish too! If you had not followed my advice just what do you think your programme's reputation would now be now if you had not prepared your listeners for the most likely outcome of the election?
From: William R Stevenson
 
This morning on Today I heard a commentator refer to George Bush's margin of victory as small. 3.5 million votes and 51.1-48% is not small. Please present the facts truthfully!
From Linda Young Broderick
 
I'm not given to writing letters to newspapers or 'phoning in to chat shows, however, I feel I have to record my dismay at George Bush's re-election. His ill-judged war against Iraq goes unpunished. The only thing that could possibly deepen my depression is that (Teflon) Tony might be re-elected for a third term.
From Gordon Lyon
 
Cheer Up! This bright first dawn of the New Era should be greeted more warmly. To listen to Naughtie/Humphrys radiating gloom about Bush one might get the idea they wanted a different outcome. It gladdened my morning to hear them so downcast. God Bless America - and you lot match. Love to all
From Robin Aitken
 
For goodness sake get your act together. The U.S.election is over. There are so many concerns about the state of our country, our forthcoming election, a possible referendum about Europe which we do not have enough info: to make a reasonable decision. You are the BBC, not Fox News, NBC, or any other American organisation. Gentlemen (and ladies) enough is enough. Let's get back to British Isles topics.
From Brian Farrier
 
Please can I pass on my thanks and congratulations to the team and in particular to Jim for providing the most true, insightful and enlightening summary of the events and implications of the election. Summarising a complex passage of emotions, processes, and political beasts into such clarity takes a unique level of understanding. The benefit to all those who heard is undeniable.
From Mark McGinn

Subdued mood among the bbc commentaries this morning contrasting with the elated mood at midnight when we went to bed....cheer up, there's always next time in four more years, though must be hard for Guardian apparatchiks to cope with.
Timothy Bradshaw (email)

There seems to be a big gap between the exit poll data and the election results. As you know the American media is mostly owned by the party in power. I am asking you my fellow citizens of the world to watch us closely and verify the results of our elections.
Marc Perkel (San Francisco, CA - email)

I have great admiration for the BBC in general and the Today programme in particular.
However this morning's coverage is the worst drivel I have heard in many a long morning.
The crescendo was reached when the presenter spent time speculating whether Tony Blair went to bed or stayed up listening to the radio.  I don't care and it doesn't matter!  Please, please tell me something interesting, and when the election is over (not when the result from Ohio is announced) please inform me of the result and explore the ramifications for the world.  When doing this, please interview people who have something valuable to contribute and spare us endless debates with your own presenters expressing the BBC opinion.
Peter Burke (email)

Kerry made a campaign promise: "I promise to ensure that every vote will be counted."
CJ Harwood, (from Nashville - email)

I am really sad the people of the US have believed all the propoganda and may have voted in Bush for another 4 years. John Kerry's election would definitely have ignited life back into America. It is certainly a victory for democracy that 120 million people voted but will not be a victory for common sense that this great nation votes in a man who has done nothing for the globe or the US except fight two unnecessary wars and cause a fragile world to become even more fragile.
Ian Payne (email)

It will be really interesting to see (hear) the actual wording of Michael Howard's 'Congratulatory Letter' to President Bush!
Garry Howes (email)

As we watch the razmataz and vitriol in the American presidential election doesn't it make you glad that we do not have to elect our head of state! Even the effective leader of the country, the Queen's Prime Minister, is appointed by the party who can form her government, so no problem there either.
Peter Lewis (email)

Some consolation for all those who like me are very sad that it looks as if Bush is being re-elected.Are there shades of the Thatcher/Kinnock election about this, give someone enough rope and they will hang themselves, after all the present Conservative Party is hardly healthy. The problem with George Bush hanging himself (metaphorically speaking) is that he may hang us all in the process.
John Lockett (email)

Dear BBC 'Today', 70 million people were also wrong in the 1933 German democratic elections. Have the 'majority' of the American people, just before Christ's Birthday, heralded in humanity's New Dark Age ? God help us all.
Richard W. Symonds (email)

I fully sympathise with Democrats as they come to grips with a likely GW win. I remember the utter disbelief of mornings like this when Mrs T kept on getting back. At least it can only happen to them once! And what will Tony do now? Let's get the vote out here for a third force in this land.We have two Republican parties here, I for one will never vote Labour again.
Anna Dickie (email)

I would like to thank all concerned in the Today programme for the excellent coverage of the presidential election, despite its depressing outcome. The light at the end of the tunnel is that George W Bush can't stand again. Only "four more years" before the world will be rid of him
Margaret J Leonard (email)

Americans have become their own worst enemy.
Anon (text)

American election? Boring boring.
Anon (text)

If Bush has won, the world has lost. I'm very afraid for us all now.
Anon (text)

To hell with the yank elections can we have the weather forecast.
Anon (text)

On the eve of the American election I would like to coin a phrase:"The dictatorship of money". I believe this is nearer to the truth than so-called Democracy.
From: Martin Knebel (email)
 
Odd that Bin Laden should intervene just at this moment in the US election - his intervention can only mean that he wants Bush to win.
Can it be that they have a common interest in the continuance of the "war"? They are both oil billionaires....
From: Donald Harris
 
I notice that James Naughty has gone to the States to report on the elections. Why? He'll only be adding to the vast army of BBC commentators, reporters and correspondents together with their support staff that is already there. How much is all this costing the licence payer, me in other words! What makes you think we are that interested? And don't tell me these elections are important. We know they are and we are quite happy to
Let your resident correspondents tell us how it is going. What we don't need is James Naughty, David Dimbleby, James Cox, Rageh Omar and all the rest of them giving us their personal slant on every minute detail of this saga. It is a self indulgent waste of our money. Get a life!
From : Mr Jan de Vilder (email)
 
I noticed that Mr Bush was using Air Force 1 when campaigning in Miami today (Sunday) Does he pay for its use when campaigning or is it a perk of the job?
From: Julie Shew
 
In view of their defeat of the Washington Redskins, may I suggest that the Green Bay Packers rename themselves the Kerry Packers?
From: Paul Collins (email)
 
When is the question that is high in all our minds going to be asked; is the much heralded US military attack on Falluja in Iraq going to take place on Presidential Election Day on the command of current President Bush, as a cynical politically- motivated boost to his re-election chances?
From: Michael Young (email)
 
We should not fall into total despair if Bush wins another term. The ugly consequences of the Bush administration's social, economic, environmental and foreign policies have radicalized people around the world into questioning the kind of society we want to live in. Four more years of capitalism will continue to energize the discontented majority, hastening the advent of a new post-capitalist enlightenment founded on the principles of social justice, fair trade and sustainable development.
From: Richard Page (email)
 
If this evenings results from the US are wide of the mark perhaps you could have your experts consider the following supplied by my active democrat sister from marginal state Nevada. All opinion polls using phone methods ask as a leading and usually the first question "Did you vote in the last election?" If the respondent answers in the negative they are automatically considered not to be as likely to vote next time as they have no historical commitment. Therefore the substantial numbers of newly registered voters who are widely considered to be Democrat supporters are not weighted as strongly as those who did vote previously. True the same could be the case with newly registered voters encouraged by their respective fundamentalist churches, but they are not as evident in the important swing states.
From: Leslie Freitag (email)

Does the person giving the thought for the day know who bush's challenges is? he called him KELLY for some reason!
From: Simon (Text)

Should John Kerry take the Whitehouse next week, what will this mean for Tony Blair? If Kerry wins it will mean not least that the American electorate have doubts over the handling of Iraq, especially since the war was won! How will Tony Blair achieve the continuation of the special relationship with a Democratic President, given his close support of the Republican George Bush, and his demand for the Iraq War.
I suggest that if Kerry wins, Tony Blair's support of the Iraq War will be once again an area of political ferment, and who knows Dr. Kelly's widow, Andrew Gilligan, and Greg Dyke might yet get apologies from the next Prime Minister for their being discredited over the "WMD 45 Minute Claim", when the Intelligence Services now accept that it was the truth all along. Hopefully Alastair Campbell and Tony Blair will be forgiven in the next life! Whether the British People will in this life is questionable!
Bob Bax (email)  

Absolutely brilliant report. Such use of the English language, almost poetic at times. A pity we couldn't hear more of the rendition of the American national Anthem. That sounded stirring stuff. Look forward to more reports on the closing stages of this campaign.
From: E McLoughlin (email)

I thought James Naughtie's report from America was brilliant - beautifully written, well delivered, and carefully constructed. It was moving and full of fresh insights. This one essay alone was worth the licence fee. I look forward to more.
From: David Wason (email)

Please do not broadcast for 20 mins on the USA elections. No one cares, it's a waste of airtime, bring Jim Naughtie home, I'm bored already.
From: Stuart Wilson (email)

I'm a third year undergraduate at Cambridge and we're about to put on a show called 'A Brief History Of Stupidity', that unsurprisingly focuses on George Bush in its latter sections. I'm feeling distinctly confused about my position on the election. Bush out - good for the world but bad for comedy. I just can't conceive the parody John Kerry. He's too earnest, too clever - or able to put on the appearance of learning. At least with a strong anti-war thread and Bush mocking rhetoric we're fairly contemporary despite all the history.
From: Mic Wright (email)




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