Most mainstream media sources finally called the presidential election for former Vice President Joe Biden on November 7.
President-elect Biden claimed victory in Pennsylvania, which pushed him over the edge to the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Though the Democrats’ pick for President was voted in, they failed to gain control of the Senate and two run-off elections will be held in Georgia next January. Democrats kept their majority in the House with a slim majority.
Biden and Harris held a drive-through acceptance speech late Saturday night in Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. Harris spoke first and congratulated the crowd on the results of the election, noting that their win couldn’t have been possible without the four years of “your courage, your resilience and the generosity of your spirit.”
Harris, who is the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, also said how historical her place as the first Black and female vice-president was.
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris said.
Biden took the stage after Harris introduced the President-elect to a cheering crowd. Biden, who began by thanking voters, listed the initiatives that would begin as soon as he took office. He focused mainly on Trump’s handling of COVID-19 in the U.S. and the steps he would take when he entered the White House.
“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,” Biden said.
Biden, who is an Irish-Catholic, ended his speech with the reading of a hymn that he said had been on his mind in the last days of the campaign.
Not long after the news broke, Biden also released a written statement calling for unity.
“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. It’s time for America to heal,” Biden said.
Many Biden supporters were seen celebrating in major cities over the weekend including Washington D.C, New York City, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and several other places across the country with videos of the various celebrations being posted on social media.
Despite the celebrations, President Donald Trump’s campaign almost immediately demanded a recount and threatened to go to the courts to challenge the election results.
A statement was released to President Trump’s Twitter that read, “Joe Biden has not been certified the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor,” it said.
President Trump is now the third consecutive U.S President to lose re-election since 1992. He is also the first president to lose a second term, lose the popular vote and be impeached all together.
In the days following Biden’s victory, the President-elect has begun naming his cabinet and staff as well as assembling a COVID-19 taskforce and Biden named Rob Klain his chief-of-staff on Nov 12. Klain served Al Gore during his time as President Bill Clinton’s vice president as well as Biden during his time as President Barack Obama’s vice president. Many have speculated that previous opponent for the presidency Senator Bernie Sanders will be named Biden’s labor secretary but no official reports have come from the Biden campaign.
“If I had a portfolio that allowed me to stand up and fight for working families, would I do it? Yes, I would,” Sanders told CNN.
Biden’s cabinet is expected to be announced throughout the next two and a half months before he is inaugurated on January 20, 2021.
With coronavirus still running rampant in the U.S., it is not expected that Biden will have an inauguration like the presidents before him but no specific plans have been announced yet.