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Bush promises smooth transition to Obama
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U.S. President George W. Bush on Wednesday promised "complete cooperation" with President-elect Barack Obama as he moves into the White House.

"I told the president-elect he can count on complete cooperation from my administration as he makes the transition to the White House," said Bush, whose second four-year term ends on Jan. 20.

US President George W. Bush delivers a statement on the 2008 president election from the Rose Garden Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008, at the White House.

The outgoing president said that Obama's election was a " historic breakthrough" in the United States. "No matter how they cast their ballots, all Americans can be proud of the history that was made yesterday."

Obama's rise to become the nation's first black president is "a testament to hard work, optimism and faith in the enduring promise of our nation," said Bush.

Obama did more than thump John McCain in the Electoral College tally, he also handily won the popular vote and redrew the great divide between red states and blue states, said a report available on CNN's website.

Riding a Democratic tide that bolstered party's presence in both houses of Congress, Obama snared about 63 million votes to McCain's 55.8 million, according to totals early Wednesday morning.

With less than 80 days left with him to govern the country, Bush also pledged that he would keep Obama "fully informed on important decisions."

He said "there's important work to do in the months ahead, and I will continue to conduct the people's business as long as this office remains in my trust."

Noting that many of the U.S. citizens thought they would never live to see that day, he said that this moment was especially " uplifting" for a generation of Americans who witnessed the struggle for civil rights with their own eyes.

"The United States government will stay vigilant in meeting its most important responsibility -- protecting the American people. And the world can be certain this commitment will remain steadfast under our next commander-in-chief," Bush said in his three-minute statement.

Also on Wednesday morning, Bush paid tribute to Obama's Republican rival John McCain and the latter's running mate Sarah Palin, the losing Republican ticket.

"I congratulated him on a determined campaign that he and Governor Palin ran," he said. "The American people will always be grateful for the lifetime of service John McCain has devoted to this nation. And I know he'll continue to make tremendous contributions to our country."

Shortly after the Illinois senator captured enough electoral votes to cement his status as president-elect, Bush told Obama Tuesday night that "I promise to make this a smooth transition."

"You are about to go on one of the great journeys of life," said Bush, adding "Congratulations and go enjoy yourself."

Speaking later at the State Department, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that her department "will do everything that we can" to ensure a smooth transition.

Rice, also an African-American like Obama, called Tuesday's election "an extraordinary step forward" in the nation's history.

(Xinhua News Agency November 6, 2008)


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