This week in history on Jan. 22, 2001, The Daily Cougar’s Ken Fountain reported ‘after the most bitterly debated election in more than a century,’ George W. Bush became the 43rd president of the United States.
In his Inaugural address, President Bush stressed unity among Americans and echoed his campaign theme of ‘compassionate conservatism.’
‘Government has great responsibilities ‘hellip; Yet compassion is the work of the nation, not just a government. Church and charity, synagogue and mosque, lend our communities their humanity and they will have an honored place in our plans and laws,’ Bush said.
Fountain reported that government officials on the losing side of the post-election division did well not to show their disappointment, including the smiling former Vice President Al Gore, ‘who won the election’s popular vote but lost the ensuing 35-day legal wrangle over the electoral votes of Florida.’
However, not all citizens feigned acceptance of the results.
‘The good feelings evident at the Capitol were starkly contrasted afterward by the motorcade route down Pennsylvania Avenue, where hundreds of protesters jeered the new president,’ Fountain wrote. ‘(Protestors) who felt that Bush’s victory in the election was unfair shouted and waved signs that read ‘Hail to the Thief.”