Joe Biden ran to the podium Saturday night as if he was taking the floor for the decisive contest and then delivered the victory speech.
Biden, who was declared the president-elect by almost every major news source Saturday, spoke like a president in delivering a message of unity and healing. He declared “a clear victory, a convincing victory, a victory for ‘We the People,’” then quickly reached out to those who supported President Donald Trump.
“I understand the disappointment tonight,” Biden said to a socially distanced, car-honking drive-in crowd at his election headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. “But now let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature …. To make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They are Americans.”
Biden declared cooperation to be part of the mandate from the election, which gave him a record-setting number of votes and a three-point edge in the popular vote. Trump is contesting the election, tweeting Saturday, “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!”
Biden also made addressing the coronavirus pandemic a part of his mandate. He said he will announce a panel of advisers with the goal of “getting COVID under control,” as America sets recent records for daily new cases and adds to the fatality total of more than 237,000.
Biden’s speech was preceded by Kamala Harris, who is projected to become the first woman, Black person and American of South Asian descent to become vice president.
“You chose hope and unity, science and, yes, truth,” Harris said, later adding, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
Biden believes in possibilities, too. He came back to run again after presidential election losses in 1987 and 2007, and if he wins, he will be the country’s oldest president, as he turns 78 on Nov. 20.