Let’s hear it for Al Gore, who showed true statesmanship this week when he urged Americans to stop rehashing last year’s election. “The presidential election of 2000 is over,” Gore is quoted as saying. “And of course, right now our country faces a great challenge as we seek to successfully combat terrorism. I fully support President Bush’s efforts to achieve that goal.” This statement was in response to study of the election that suggested Bush probably did win. Gore didn’t have to say what he did; he could easily have either denouced the study or simply ignored it, making no public statement at all. Instead, he chose to not only say it’s time to move on, but also to express support and solidarity for the president he ran against. Whether you voted for Gore or not, you have to admit that this is a classy thing to do.
And while I’m cheering, hooray for Vladimir Putin, who is going well beyond the call of duty, at considerable political risk to himself, to cooperate with the U.S. on issues like nuclear arms reduction and the fight against terrorism. Like Gore, Putin didn’t have to do this. But he seems genuinely determined to make Russia a partner of the U.S. in these worthy endeavors. If he keeps on like this, he may end up rivaling Gorbachev in the history books as a leader committed to moving beyond the Cold War and building trust between Russia and the West.

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