Rooney: Losing Always Hurts

<B>Andy Rooney</B> Says 'Take Heart Kerry, We Elected Nixon Twice'

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by correspondent Andy Rooney.
I always feel sorry for the loser in an election, no matter who it is. Losing always hurts.

We lost the big game when I was captain of my high school football team, and I still think about that.

Sen. John Kerry is never going to forget this loss. Just imagine the difference in the life he'll have compared with what it might have been. He'll look at Bush on television and that old song from "South Pacific" will drift through his head: "This Nearly Was Mine."

You can bet Al Gore still thinks about it. So close to being the most important man in the world. Now - nothing.

Neither of them will be in the history books with Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln. No libraries with their names on it.

We've had a lot of good losers over the years. Adlai Stevenson lost to Dwight Eisenhower twice. Stevenson made one of the great concession speeches: "And he was too old to cry, but it hurt too much to laugh."

I was looking though some history books and there are two things hard to believe about past elections. First, it's hard to believe that Franklin Delano Roosevelt produced four losers. He was elected four times. He beat Herbert Hoover, Alf Landon, Wendell Willkie and Thomas Dewey.

The second hardest thing to believe in our political history is that we elected Richard Nixon president twice. Now why in the world did we do that? That should be a consolation to Kerry.

Television did a good job Tuesday night, I thought. I know a lot of you believe that most people in the news business are liberal. Let me tell you I know a lot of them, and they were almost evenly divided this time. Half of them liked Sen. Kerry; the other half hated President Bush.

I think we're all glad this is over, though. The losers are usually civil about it. Kerry called Bush and congratulated him.

The loser doesn't really mean it, of course but it's nice of him to do it.

I hope we get over this viciously divisive election campaign we had.

It is our country. It's the only one we've got. We have to love it. No one else does, that's for sure. I hope all of you who voted for Kerry can find it in your heads, if not in your hearts, to swallow this and support President George W. Bush.

That's what I'm going to do.

By Andy Rooney