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Thursday, December 14, 2000

Voters praise
demeanor of both candidates

But many say the
system needs reforms

Outcome may hurt Akaka bill

By Harold Morse

Whichever man they had wanted for president, patrons at Restaurant Row were relieved it was over after Vice President Al Gore and President-Elect George W. Bush appeared on television.

"I think it was a good decision that he (Gore) decided to concede, and I'm happy that George Bush finally got what's due him," said Steve Postmus, 44, of Makiki, a communications account manager. "The American people deserve a revised voting system so we don't have to experience this with future presidential elections."

Jolene Haneca, 43, of Makiki, a freelance court reporter, had kind words for both men. "I think Gore made a heroic effort and he did the right thing by conceding, and I think he bowed out strongly," she said. "I wish our new president the best, and I hope he has good support of all the people."

Mike Piotrowski, 48, an environmental scientist from Denver, applauded the Bush conciliatory call for unity.

"I think it's important that we do conciliate, everyone just try to pull together and, I don't know, solve the problems," he said. "I'm just optimistic that we're going to come together again."

An environmental scientist colleague, Derek Yasaka, 44, of Mililani Mauka, was not surprised Gore conceded. "I think it was anticipated, of course. I'm glad that it finally came to an end. I voted for Gore, but despite that I'm glad that he conceded."

A husband and wife didn't exactly see eye to eye. "I voted for Gore, so I don't understand all this politics," said Kelly Espadas, 20, a North Shore student of social work. "I just wanted Gore. That's all I can say."

Efrain Espadas, 23, her husband, an Army cook, knocked Gore. "I think Al Gore's conceding was probably the best thing he could do. I think he should have done it sooner because he would have an opportunity to run again in four years. Now he doesn't look like a very good candidate. It looks like he's kind of a crybaby. So nobody's going to vote for him if he runs again."

Gore still looked good to another service couple. "I'm glad it's finally over; the fiasco's over," said Dennis Mamaradlo, 31, of Makalapa, a Navy manpower administrator. "I saw Al Gore's speech, and I thought it was a perfectly written concession speech. He didn't sound like a sore loser. He didn't sound bitter. He just had that message that it's time to move on."

His wife, Carri Mamaradlo, 26, voiced relief that the election is finally over. "It took a long time, a very long time," she said. "I saw part of Gore's speech. I didn't watch all of it, but he seemed very sincere, and he didn't seem as though it was a huge loss."

Keahi Peters, 25, of Mililani, an administrative justice assistant, said: "Actually, I'm glad that George Bush won outright."

Gore a ‘class act’;
Bush ‘right message’

By Harold Morse

Members of the Hawaii Legislature from both political parties agreed that both Vice President Al Gore and President-elect George W. Bush showed statesmanship in their speeches yesterday.

State Rep. Ed Case, D-Manoa, said of Gore: "No matter whether you voted for him or not, it was a class act. It was exactly the right thing to do, right things to say.

"I think the president-elect said what needed to be said," Case added. "I thought it was the right message, and I thought it was also very practical politics, given a divided country and a divided Congress.

"I think (Bush) understands well that for an increasing number of people -- both nationally and it's certainly true in Hawaii -- peer partisan politics is just not relevant any more," Case said. "It was good symbolism to deliver that message from a chamber where he has achieved some success at bipartisan solutions."

State Rep. Mark Moses, R-Kunia-Makakilo-Ewa-Waipahu, also hailed both men last night. "I believe that this is what Vice President Gore was going to have to do after the decision. I think he did it well.

"I don't think he had any other options there, and I think he was very statesmanlike and showed great integrity.

"As for George Bush's statement, I think he touched the bases he needed to touch. He reached out to Vice President Gore saying that he understood what he went through, and I believe he meant that," Moses said. "He knows it was a long hard fight ... It's basically time now for, let's say, the struggle to end and for the country to pull together and to move forward."

State Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, D-Palama-Alewa Heights, said, "I think that to the extent that both of them are able to be modeling this kind of supportive behavior for the sake of our country is very important," said "I'm hopeful that the ideas supportive of families that both bring to the table will somehow be reflective in the policies that ultimately come out of Washington, D.C."

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