When the presumptive President-elect Joe Biden announced his candidacy 18 months ago, many Republicans felt that he was the most feared opponent out of the 23 Democrats who had declared their intentions to run for the job.
They were right.
On Saturday, major media outlets projected Joseph Robinette Biden, 77, to become the 46th president of the United States on a historic ticket that included the first woman of color to become vice president and monumental flips in states that traditionally – and overwhelmingly – vote Republican.
“I voted for President-elect Joe Biden because I believe in his policies and positions will help all people, not just those of a particular hue or ilk,” said Ashley M. Armstrong, an Atlanta voter of more than 20 years. She said she has worked on grassroots political campaigns in Georgia for just as long. The Georgia battleground was one of those states that flipped in the election from Republican to Democrat. The last time Georgia voted for a Democratic president was in 1992 when Bill Clinton won the presidency. It was also the last time an incumbent did not win re-election as Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush.
“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country,” Biden tweeted Saturday afternoon. “The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans – whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”
This was Biden’s third try at being president after running in 1987 and 2008 when he challenged Barack Obama. In his prior attempts, he only won a total of two delegates between both Democratic National Conventions. In a twist of fate, his more than 73 million popular votes in this election are the most than any other president in history. With his campaign dubbed as a” battle for the soul of this nation,” Biden appealed particularly to Black voters and centrist white Democrats. Now, he must appeal to a diverse, but a divisive nation that has seen better years than 2020.
“This year has not been the kindest and neither has the current president,” said Jada M. Lark, a political strategist who said she’s seen people lose faith in the country and other people because of Trump and his messaging. “America has decided, though, who can change that. Joe Biden can do that. He is a person of the people. He has been through things that I can relate to. He has been through things that so many others can relate to him.”
Things such as the well-documented deaths of his immediate family members and a son fighting drug issues have resonated with many Americans, but so has Biden’s political baggage. He authored a crime bill in 1994 that served as the lynchpin for mass incarceration. His handling of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was touted as highly dubious by many, especially Anita Hill. Biden presided over the Senate Judiciary Committee when Hill was asked to testify about her professional experiences with Thomas.
“No, he isn’t the perfect candidate, but look at what we’ve been working with,” Lark said. “We have a president who is the epitome of immorality. Look at how we are handling this pandemic. People are broke and broken. We must heal. Joe can do it.”