Joseph R. Biden Jr. waited a long time to give the speech he gave to Delaware on Saturday night. Not just the five days since Election Day, but undoubtedly the 48 years since he was first elected to the Senate, during which he has claimed the presidency three times. And at the age of 77, as Mr. Biden stepped into the aisle for an explosion of car horns and cheers, radiating and looking almost surprised by the cheers, it was clear that his time had come.
Here are five choices from the President-elect’s victory speech.
A new tone from the top.
The antagonism between Mr. Biden and President Trump has been striking and remarkable in almost every passage, as the president-elect has invoked his own spirituality and shared faith for the time being with his supporters and those around him.
He quoted from an anthem, “On Eagle’s Wings”. He thanked his supporters: “I owe you, I owe you, I owe you everything.” He warmly praised Kamala Harris, his partner, and celebrated the fact that she would be the first woman, let alone the woman of color, to serve as vice president“It’s too late, and it reminds us tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years for this to happen.”
Above all, even as the nation faces one of the darkest periods in its history – a deadly pandemic, economic decline, political polarization – Mr Biden has been steadily optimistic, even happy. “We can do it,” he said. “I know we can.”
There were many notable excerpts in the speech, but one stood out. “Let this gloomy era of demonization in America begin to end here and now,” he said. This is probably a line that the people will talk about for a long time in the Biden presidency.
Mr. Biden mentioned Mr. Trump only once during his 17-minute speech. Ignored the fact that the president had not given in and that he had challenged – without any evidence – the legitimacy of the elections. Mr Biden also noted that many top Republican leaders, possibly following in the footsteps of Mr. Trump, they did not offer him the usual congratulations.
But if Mr. Biden did not focus on the president, he certainly spoke to his supporters, a remarkable contrast to Mr. Trump’s speech after his own victory in 2016. “To those who voted for President Trump, I understand your frustration tonight.” , he said. “I have lost some elections. But now, let’s give each other a chance. “
And while ignoring Mr. Trump’s election protests, Biden made it clear that there should be no doubt about the legitimacy of the result. “The people of this nation have spoken,” he said. “They gave us a clear victory. A convincing victory. A victory for “We the people”. We have won the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation – 74 million. “
Mr Biden’s strategy was clear. He has surpassed the 270 votes required to become president and may end up garnering more than 300. He is now running beyond the race with Mr. Trump in the role of president-elect. The transition is approaching and the traps of the presidency have begun to surround him – ostensibly in the size of the secret service that followed him to give his speech and the way every television station spoke of him as president-elect.
He seeks to marginalize Mr. Trump, and turns to the urgent operation of forming a new government and tackling the crises he will face.
Priority: The pandemic.
Mr Biden left no doubt that the Koran pandemic would be a priority for his administration in this way. was not under Mr. Trump.
Mr Biden announced on Monday that he would appoint top science and health experts to a committee to draw up a plan to fight the pandemic, which he said would be ready when he and Ms Harris took office. them in January. Mr Biden told the nation that controlling the Koran virus was crucial to normalcy and economic prosperity.
“We can not repair the economy, restore our vitality or enjoy the most precious moments of life – embracing a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that interest us most – until this virus is brought under control.” , he said.
Mr. Trump has taken a very different approach. Throughout his campaign, he urged Americans not to be afraid of the virus, arguing that the risk was too great for his political opponents. Disobeyed the advice of health workers precautions such as using a mask, even after he was diagnosed with the virus.
Seeking “the trust of the whole people”.
Mr. Trump set the tone for his presidency at the inauguration, with a dark speech in which he did not go beyond the base of his supporters. The strategy brought him to a close victory in 2016 – at Electoral College. lost the popular vote – and tried to repeat it in this year’s lost campaign.
Mr Biden is moving aggressively in the other direction.
“I pledge to be a president who does not seek to divide, but to unite – who sees not red and blue countries, but the United States,” he said on Saturday. “And who will work with all my heart to gain the trust of the whole people.”
To some extent, this reflects what Mr Biden said during the campaign, but the approach will take on new urgency as he becomes president. Waiting for its result two runoffs in Georgia, the Senate is controlled by Republicans and should turn to senators from the red states if it wants to set an agenda.
Their names on the lights.
There were some impressive fireworks during this campaign – the ones that were over the Washington skyline the night Mr. Trump accepted the Republican nomination from the back lawn of the White House.
This, however, set up a bar that can be difficult to match: Fireworks and drones wrote Mr. Biden’s name, Mrs. Harris’ name, and a map of the United States. Mr. Biden and Mrs. Harris, surrounded by their families, stood on the stage looking at the Delaware sky, lighting up again and again on the night Mr. Biden had been waiting for most of his life.