After the Supreme Court's momentous decision Tuesday effectively barring a recount in Florida, the presidential election was decided in favor of George W. Bush.
Now that the closest election since 1876 has finally been settled, it's time to bury the hatchet and analyze Al Gore's motive for contesting the race for well over a month.
When examining the vice president's decision to push for a recount of the votes in Florida, especially since the race was a statistical dead heat out of 6 million votes cast in that state, only one answer comes to mind. It was well within Gore's rights as a candidate to request a recount in such a close election.
Some states even have provisions for an automatic recount if the margin between candidates is razor thin. And since Florida law allows for hand recounts, it only made sense to try to ascertain which candidate had amassed the most votes.
But, now that the Supreme Court has settled the outcome of a presidential race for the first time in American history, it's time to abide by the high court's ruling and accept George W. Bush as our nation's leader for the next four years.
Gore was astute enough to realize he had no choice but to concede after the Supreme Court left him without remedy or recourse to make up ground on his Republican rival in Florida.
Had he not decided on this course of action, a badly divided nation would have continued to be wrenched by partisan emotions and possibly undergone political upheaval of an unprecedented nature for this democracy.
We think Gore clearly understood it was in the nation's best interest to concede. And in the process, he preserved much of his political base. The vice president will live to see another day in the political arena and will, in all probability, be his party's standard-bearer in four years.
Today's editorial is a reflection of the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Nora Edinger and J. Cecil Jarvis.