President-Elect & Man of The Hour, Biden to Now Shape USA’s Future

At 77, Biden is set to be the oldest president in US history.

Updated
World
3 min read
Current United States Vice President Joe Biden 
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After a nail-biting election day that extended by nearly a week, Democrat Joe Biden finally won the mantle of the 46th president of the United States of America on Saturday, 7 November, after a victory in Pennsylvania.

Soon after the victory, Biden took to Twitter to say, “America, I’m honoured that you have chosen me to lead our great country”.

The Biden Campaign also released a statement from the president-elect on Saturday, in which he said, “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.”

Several US networks projected Biden as having won the presidential race after securing the key battleground of Pennsylvania, which helped him cross the 270 votes needed to win. With 20 electoral votes from the state, Biden now has a total of 273 electoral votes.

At 77, Biden is set to be the oldest president in US history.

A six-term senator from Delaware, he was first elected in 1972. He had also served as the 47th vice-president of the United States in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017.

He ran for president in 1988 but withdrew after he admitted to plagiarising a speech by the then leader of the British leader Neil Kinnock. Biden ran for the presidency again in 2008 but later withdrew from the race.

Key States Change Results

The candidates had been locked in a virtual dead heat for days, and The New York Times reported that Trump’s chances of winning a second term depended on his ability to hang on to his leads in states like Georgia and Pennsylvania. However, Biden narrowed the gap in both states as vote counting progressed, finally winning Pennsylvania with 49.7 percent of the vote, as opposed to Trump’s 49.2 percent.

Once he had gained ground in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia on Thursday he got to closer to defeating President Trump.

“Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well. But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that’s been the envy of the world,” Biden had said as he awaited the results.

Trump Set the Bar Low for Biden

In an editorial analysing Biden’s election stint, The Economist said “the contempt for the truth” which was “the most head-spinning feature of the Trump presidency” was what led to Biden’s victory.

“Joe Biden is not a miracle cure for what ails America. But he is a good man who would restore steadiness and civility to the White House,” the editorial said, adding “The bar to Biden being an improvement is therefore not high.”

But in the same breadth, it added that there are some Republicans who worry that “Biden, old and weak, would be a Trojan horse for the hard Left”.

In an interview with working class Democrats, The New York Times had reported in 2019 that Biden gained support because these workers "know and trust the Scranton native from his long tenure as a Delaware senator and as Barack Obama’s vice president, they find his incremental policy proposals realistic”.

What America Under Biden Could be Like

According to the BBC, the “transactional, disruptive and unilateralist” vision of Trump will now shift to “a much more traditional take on America's role and interests, grounded in international institutions established after World War Two, and based on shared western democratic values.”

The New Yorker says “Biden has long valorised comity and respect in the political arena.” This emphasis on decency, it says, could be a turning point for America which is deeply divided today.

“A Biden Administration might take steps to spur community groups and other social institutions that encourage the breaking down of political barriers,” the editorial adds.

Taking a worldview, the Al Jazeera says America under Biden would be just as “dangerous”.

"Biden wants to bring back Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama’s America: an ostensibly strong, righteous and benevolent America that is a force for good across the world,” says the broadcaster.

But the problem it points out is, “such an America just does not exist”.

(With inputs from the BBC, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Al Jazeera)

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