Joseph R. Biden Jr. waited a very long time to offer the speech he delivered in Delaware on Saturday night time. 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 3 times. And at age 77, as Mr. Biden got here trotting up the runway to an explosion of automobile horns and cheers, beaming and looking out nearly stunned by the ovation, it was clear that his second had arrived.
Listed 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 nearly each passage, because the president-elect invoked his personal spirituality and shared credit score for the second together 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 every part.” He warmly praised Kamala Harris, his working mate, and celebrated the truth that she could be the first woman, let alone woman of color, to serve as vice president: “It’s lengthy overdue, and we’re reminded tonight of all those that fought so onerous for therefore a few years to make this occur.”
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 will do it,” he mentioned. “I do know we will.”
There have been many notable passages within the speech, however one stood out. “Let this grim period of demonization in America start to finish right here and now,” he mentioned. That’s most likely a line that folks will speak about lengthy into the Biden presidency.
Mr. Biden talked about Mr. Trump’s title 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 word that many prime Republican leaders, presumably following Mr. Trump’s lead, had not offered him the customary congratulations.
But when Mr. Biden didn’t dwell on the president, he definitely spoke to his supporters, a notable distinction to Mr. Trump’s speech after his personal victory in 2016. “To those that voted for President Trump, I perceive your disappointment tonight,” he mentioned. “I’ve misplaced a few elections myself. However now, let’s give one another an opportunity.”
And whereas he ignored Mr. Trump’s protests concerning the election, Mr. Biden made clear that there must be little doubt concerning the legitimacy of the result. “The folks of this nation have spoken,” he mentioned. “They’ve delivered us a transparent victory. A convincing victory. A victory for ‘We the Individuals.’ We now have gained with probably the most votes ever solid for a presidential ticket within the historical past of this nation — 74 million.”
Mr. Biden’s technique right here was clear. He has exceeded the 270 Electoral Faculty votes wanted to change into president, and will find yourself gathering greater than 300. He’s now shifting previous the competition with Mr. Trump and into the function of president-elect. The transition is at hand, and the trimmings of the presidency have begun to encompass him — obvious within the measurement of the Secret Service contingent that adopted him to offer his speech, and the best way each tv station spoke of him because the president-elect.
He’s in search of 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.
Precedence one: The pandemic.
Mr. Biden left little doubt 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 informed the nation that getting the coronavirus beneath management was essential to normalcy and financial prosperity.
“We can not restore the financial system, restore our vitality or relish life’s most treasured moments — hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all of the moments that matter most to us — till we get this virus beneath management,” he mentioned.
Mr. Trump has taken a a lot totally different method. All through his marketing campaign, he urged Individuals to not worry the virus, asserting that the hazard was being exaggerated by his political opponents. He defied the recommendation of well being officers on precautions like wearing a mask, even after he himself was identified 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 have been all over the place at his celebration.
Looking for ‘the boldness of the entire folks.’
Mr. Trump outlined the tone of his presidency at his inauguration, with a darkish speech wherein 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 Faculty; 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 to not divide, however to unify — who doesn’t see purple and blue states, however a United States,” he mentioned on Saturday. “And who will work with all my coronary heart to win the boldness of the entire folks.”
To some extent, that displays what Mr. Biden mentioned throughout 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 night time Mr. Trump accepted the Republican nomination from the again garden of the White Home come to thoughts.
This one, although, set a bar that could be onerous to match: Fireworks and drones spelled out Mr. Biden’s title, Ms. Harris’s title and a map of the USA. Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, surrounded by their households, stood onstage staring into the Delaware sky, lit up repeatedly on the night time that Mr. Biden has been awaiting for many of his life.