Joseph Robinette Biden Jr was elected the 46th President of the United States on Saturday, promising to restore political normality and a spirit of national unity to confront raging health and economic crises, and making Donald J. Trump a one-term President after four years of tumult in the White House.
The result also provided a history-making moment for Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, who will become the first woman to serve as Vice-President.
People react after it was announced that Joe Biden was elected the 46th president of the United States on Saturday in Philadelphia. President-elect Biden achieved victory offering a message of healing and unity. He will return to Washington facing a daunting set of crises. Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
Biden called for healing and unity. “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” he said. “It’s time for America to unite. And to heal. We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do if we do it together.”
Trump insisted “this election is far from over” and vowed that his campaign would “start prosecuting our case in court” but offered no details.
Harris tweeted a video of her congratulating Biden: “We did it Joe!”
Harris will be the first woman, the first Black American and the first American of Asian descent to serve as Vice-President, the country’s No. 2 office.
Donald Trump File picture
Winning the battleground state of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral college votes gave Biden more than the 270 he needed to triumph, prompting all major TV networks to declare him victor after four days of nail-biting suspense following Tuesday’s election.
Biden’s victory amounted to a repudiation of Trump by millions of voters exhausted with his divisive conduct and chaotic administration, and was delivered by an unlikely alliance of women, people of colour, old and young voters and a sliver of disaffected Republicans. Trump is only the third elected President since World War II to lose re-election, and the first in more than a quarter-century.
With his triumph, Biden, who turns 78 later this month, fulfilled his decades-long ambition in his third bid for the White House, becoming the oldest person elected President. A pillar of Washington who was first elected amid the Watergate scandal, and who prefers political consensus over combat, Biden will lead a nation and a Democratic Party that have become far more ideological since his arrival in the capital in 1973.
He offered a mainstream Democratic agenda, yet it was less his policy platform than his biography to which many voters gravitated. Biden — a candidate in the late autumn of his career — presented his life of setback and recovery to voters as a parable for a wounded country.
The race was a singular referendum on Trump in a way no President’s re-election has been in modern times. He coveted the attention, and voters who either adored him or loathed him were eager to render judgment on his tenure. From the beginning to the end of the race, Biden made the President’s character central to his campaign.
New York Times News Service and Reuters