Closing his epic, 36-day court battle, Al Gore surrendered on Wednesday in his fight for the highest prize of a life's work in politics.
The vice president telephoned Republican George W. Bush with congratulations once again - and finally - before telling the nation in a televised address that he was bowing out of the bitterly disputed presidential election.
Running mate Joseph Lieberman was at Gore's side for the speech he wrote himself.
The pair, who had pledged to ``make history'' with the country's first Jewish vice president, were instead settling into record books as the first ticket since 1888 to win the nationwide popular vote but lose in the decisive Electoral College. Aides expected the rival camps to discuss privately a meeting between Bush and Gore, symbolically beginning to neutralize the acid of this election and the 1992 race in which Bush saw his father driven from the White House by Gore and Bill Clinton.
Clinton telephoned from Northern Ireland minutes after news broke Wednesday morning that Gore was giving up. The two political partners had grown apart during the campaign.
More than 103 million Americans who went to the polls on Nov. 7 gave Gore a lead of about 330,000 over Bush.
Read the rest of this article in the 12/14 Pilot Tribune.