Joseph R. Biden Jr. waited a very long time to present the speech he delivered in Delaware on Saturday evening. Not simply the 5 days since Election Day, however arguably the 48 years since he was first elected to the Senate, throughout which he ran for president thrice. And at age 77, as Mr. Biden got here trotting up the runway to an explosion of automotive horns and cheers, beaming and searching virtually shocked by the ovation, it was clear that his second had arrived.
Here are 5 takeaways from the president-elect’s victory speech.
A brand new tone from the highest.
The distinction between Mr. Biden and President Trump was bracing and notable in virtually each passage, because the president-elect invoked his personal spirituality and shared credit score for the second along with his supporters and the folks round him.
He quoted from a hymn, “On Eagle’s Wings.” He thanked his supporters: “I owe you, I owe you, I owe you everything.” He warmly praised Kamala Harris, his operating mate, and celebrated the truth that she could be the first woman, let alone woman of color, to serve as vice president: “It’s long overdue, and we’re reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen.”
Most of all, even because the nation faces one of many darkest intervals in its historical past — a lethal pandemic, financial decline, political polarization — Mr. Biden was relentlessly optimistic, even cheerful. “We can do it,” he mentioned. “I know we can.”
There had been many notable passages within the speech, however one stood out. “Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end here and now,” he mentioned. That might be a line that individuals will discuss lengthy into the Biden presidency.
Mr. Biden talked about Mr. Trump’s identify solely as soon as throughout his 17-minute speech. He ignored the truth that the president had not conceded, and that he had challenged — with none proof — the legitimacy of the election. Mr. Biden additionally didn’t notice that many prime Republican leaders, presumably following Mr. Trump’s lead, had not offered him the customary congratulations.
But if Mr. Biden didn’t dwell on the president, he actually spoke to his supporters, a notable distinction to Mr. Trump’s speech after his personal victory in 2016. “To those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight,” he mentioned. “I’ve lost a couple of elections myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance.”
And whereas he ignored Mr. Trump’s protests concerning the election, Mr. Biden made clear that there needs to be little question concerning the legitimacy of the result. “The people of this nation have spoken,” he mentioned. “They have delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory. A victory for ‘We the People.’ We have won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation — 74 million.”
Mr. Biden’s technique right here was clear. He has exceeded the 270 Electoral College votes wanted to change into president, and will find yourself gathering greater than 300. He is now transferring previous the competition with Mr. Trump and into the position of president-elect. The transition is at hand, and the trimmings of the presidency have begun to encompass him — obvious within the dimension of the Secret Service contingent that adopted him to present his speech, and the best way each tv station spoke of him because the president-elect.
He is looking for to relegate Mr. Trump to the sidelines, and turning to the pressing enterprise of forming a brand new authorities and coping with the crises he’ll face.
Priority one: The pandemic.
Mr. Biden left little question that the coronavirus pandemic could be a precedence for his administration in a approach that it has not been under Mr. Trump.
Mr. Biden introduced that on Monday, he would appoint prime science and well being consultants to a committee to craft a plan for battling the pandemic, which he mentioned could be able to put in place when he and Ms. Harris take workplace in January. Mr. Biden instructed the nation that getting the coronavirus beneath management was essential to normalcy and financial prosperity.
“We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality or relish life’s most precious moments — hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us — until we get this virus under control,” he mentioned.
Mr. Trump has taken a a lot completely different method. Throughout his marketing campaign, he urged Americans to not worry the virus, asserting that the hazard was being exaggerated by his political opponents. He flaunted the recommendation of well being officers on precautions like wearing a mask, even after he himself was recognized with the virus.
Mr. Biden’s victory comes because the nation is setting daily records for new infections and the well being authorities have warned of a bleak winter. Masks had been all over the place at his celebration.
Seeking ‘the confidence of the whole people.’
Mr. Trump outlined the tone of his presidency at his inauguration, with a darkish speech during which he notably didn’t attain out past his base of supporters. The technique had lifted him to a slim victory in 2016 — within the Electoral College; he misplaced the favored vote — and he sought to reprise it in his shedding marketing campaign this yr.
Mr. Biden aggressively moved within the different path.
“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify — who doesn’t see red and blue states, but a United States,” he mentioned on Saturday. “And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people.”
To some extent, that displays what Mr. Biden mentioned through the marketing campaign, however the method will tackle a brand new urgency as he turns into president. Pending the result of two runoffs in Georgia, the Senate is managed by Republicans, and he might want to attain out to senators from the purple states if he needs to enact an agenda.
Their names in lights.
There have been some spectacular pyrotechnics throughout this marketing campaign — those over the Washington skyline on the evening Mr. Trump accepted the Republican nomination from the again garden of the White House come to thoughts.
This one, although, set a bar that could be arduous to match: Fireworks and drones spelled out Mr. Biden’s identify, Ms. Harris’s identify and a map of the United States. Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, surrounded by their households, stood onstage staring into the Delaware sky, lit up many times on the evening that Mr. Biden has been awaiting for many of his life.
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