Viewpoint: Bush bet it all and took the house

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    Rallying the Bush campaign in Nevada last weekend, I had a close encounter with more middle fingers than there are seagulls in northern Utah. No wonder I had to smile when Bush took Nevada ? and Florida ? and Ohio, winning one key state after the other.

    It was like watching the Red Sox rally to win the American League pennant from a three-game deficit. There were close calls. There were extra innings. It was riveting. It was just plain good television.

    Did the Republican National Committee know what they were doing when they sent a bunch of Brigham Youngsters to Nevada? You bet. We weren?t alone though; Kerry?s team had the same idea.

    Backing a conservative in one of America?s most liberal cities (while dodging birds and other trajectories), my buddy Jase and I had might as well be playing the nickel-slots than trying to win the voter jackpot for Bush, or so we thought.

    Two Mormon boys pumped for republican victory deep in democrat country, we felt like Turk and Virgil Malloy on their way to bag the Belagio with the rest of Ocean?s 11.

    As poll results rolled in, the numbers flipped, spun, pulsed and zig-zagged like the neon lights of the Vegas strip. In spite of Kerry?s phenomenal campaign, Bush bet big and took the house.

    Still, I had to wonder, how did Bush pull off the largest popular vote in American history, winning by more than 3 million votes?

    This election saw record turnouts, brutal debates and rigorous campaigning in every state. We saw a considerable downsize in the color spectrum ? only red and blue survived.

    There were major layoffs at city zoos ? only donkeys and elephants were getting any attention. And we nearly faced another baseball strike when players refused to show whether they hit to the left or to the right (excluding Boston pitcher Curt Schilling, who happens to be a right-hander). America became polarized.

    After a close, close race, my respect goes out to Sen. Kerry, whose concession speech yesterday showed a great deal of class.

    Though I supported Bush throughout the election, I believe that Kerry proved powerful leadership abilities throughout the campaign.

    I respect the informed decision of anyone who voted, regardless of the candidate. Since returning from Nevada, I haven?t had any death threats from Democrats in Las Vegas, nor has anybody flashed me any rude hand gestures.

    I would hope that, having divided ourselves during this presidential race, we would now reunite as a nation and focus our attention on the future.

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