Presidential Bipartisanship May Grow Slowly

Knoxville – President-elect George W. Bush continues his transition efforts, as he prepares to assume office in January.

Bush stressed bipartisanship and unity in solving the nation-s problems, in his acceptance speech last week.

University of Tennessee political scientist Bill Lyons said it may take some time before Democrats warm to Bush.

“There-s going to be some Democratic resentment about this election, probably more than in 1992,” Lyons said, when Republicans were angry that Bill Clinton defeated Bush-s father, President George H.W. Bush. “That resentment may linger for awhile, but Americans tend to move on to new concerns.”

House Majority Whip Tom DeLay said that the Republican Party has won a mandate from the American people, because the party now controls the White House and both houses of Congress.

Lyons said that might not be so easy.

“Nobody can really claim a mandate with the razor-thin margin we have in Congress,” Lyons said. “However, Republicans do have control of the legislative and executive branches of government for the first time since the 1950s,” Lyons said, “and this is going to allow them to get at least a few laws through Congress.”

Lyons said Bush could also change the direction of the government by choosing to veto legislation that might have passed if Al Gore had won the election.