Shortly after he was officially declared the new president, Joe Biden delivered an impassioned speech, calling on Americans to look past the differences sown by Trump and his administration.
After weeks of unfounded attacks on the integrity of the 2020 presidential election by Donald Trump and his Republican allies, on Monday electors confirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. The ex-vice president secured it with 306 Electoral College votes, 36 more than he needed to win one of the most contentious political contests in recent US history.
The Electoral College is composed of the 538 electors from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and has the same number of representatives and senators as Congress. They meet in their respective state capitals to cast their vote for president and vice president.
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A Powerful, Impassioned Speech
Shortly after he was officially declared the winner, Biden delivered a powerful, impassioned speech during which he called on Americans to look past the differences sowed by Trump and his administration, and urged them to put behind them the president’s failed attempts to cast doubts on the election system that is the solid foundation of American democracy. And although he said in his view democracy had been “pushed, tested, threatened,” it proved to be “resilient, true, and strong.”
“If anyone didn’t know it before, they know now. What beats deep in the hearts of the American people is this: democracy, the right to be heard, to have your vote counted, to choose the leaders of this nation, to govern ourselves,” Biden said from his longtime home of Wilmington, Delaware.
Alluding to the fact that Trump has still not conceded the race to Biden, despite numerous recounts of ballots and many lawsuits that failed to overturn the results of the election, the president-elect made it clear that in America “politicians don’t take power. People grant power to them.”
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According to Biden, the fact that the voice of the people prevailed only proved that “the flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know that nothing—not even a pandemic or an abuse of power—can extinguish that flame.”
Biden also slammed Trump for characterizing election officials as agents of fraud, calling it “simply unconscionable.”
According to Lawrence Norden, director of the Election Reform Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, the number of personal attacks and threats against poll workers in this election was “unprecedented.”
“It is my sincere hope we never again see anyone subjected to the kind of threats and abuse that we saw,” Biden said. Repeating a central theme of his presidential campaign, he promised to be “a president for all Americans” who will “work just as hard for those of you who didn’t vote for me as I will for those who did.”
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Most national leaders contacted Biden days after the vote on Nov. 3 to congratulate him on winning the election. Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the last world leaders to reach out to the president-elect, saying [Moscow] would wait for the official results before doing so. Later, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell followed suit.
A Battle Won
“In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed,” Biden said in the speech. “We the people voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact.”
Congress will meet on Jan. 6 to certify the Electoral College votes. Two weeks later, on Jan. 20, 2021, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in at noon.
At this time, it is not clear if President Trump will attend the inauguration.