"He gave a very moving speech tonight. He's saying he's going to take tomorrow to think about what to do next, but there's a general sense here that this thing's over and that this was a concession speech. It was a very touching way to say good-bye. This wasn't like other campaigns the people who supported him really believed in him.
"He's certainly walking away from this with a smile. He seemed very peaceful and very happy with where he was."
Jay Carney (on the campaign trail with George W. Bush in Austin, Texas):
"Today, for the second day in a row, Bush took shots at Gore, which shows where his energies are focused, and he talked about healing wounds in the party. The exit polls began to come in early in the day, and ever since he wasn't talking about John McCain."
John Dickerson (on the campaign trail with John McCain in California):
"John McCain was down all day as reality set in. He made no public appearances where the traveling press were. His campaign staff now seems resigned to this. They're indicating that he'll make an announcement Thursday and that'll be it. There's some talk around the campaign that he may have some flirtations with third parties, but that's about it. Other than that, it's over."
Karen Tumulty (on the campaign trail with Al Gore in Nashville)
"I'm at the Loew's hotel ballroom in Nashville. He's making a very inspired speech. It's the room where he celebrated his 1984 Senate victory. The chorus line today has been 'Join us now!' which is an apparent appeal for crossover votes.
"A lot of the exit polls came in early in the day, but he remained cautious. I was with him as he was sitting in his hotel suite with Tipper and was being very cautious, saying he wasn't taking any votes for granted. That's become the joke around the campaign because he says it so often. But for his campaign staff, it's almost like they're superstitious they had such bad times early in the campaign that they act as though it's bad luck to sit back and enjoy any of this.
"During his speech tonight, Gore mentioned Clinton, saying 'that under the President, we've created 21 million jobs.' Then he took it even further and said that under this president 'we stand at a mountaintop moment in our history, with the longest period of economic growth.'"