Joe Biden Elected as President

U.S. President Joe Biden’s official portrait, 2021

The 2020 United States presidential election saw the culmination of a tumultuous campaign season, ultimately resulting in the election of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. This victory marked a significant milestone in American politics, with Biden becoming the oldest person ever elected to the presidency.

Election Campaign

Joe Biden’s campaign for the presidency was characterized by a message centered on unity, healing, and a return to the core values he believed were foundational to the American spirit. Announcing his candidacy in April 2019, Biden, a seasoned politician with decades of experience, including serving as Vice President under Barack Obama, positioned himself as a unifying figure in a time of deep national division. His campaign resonated with many Americans who were eager for a change in leadership, particularly in the face of the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The choice of Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate added a historic dimension to his campaign, bringing diversity and representation to the forefront. Harris, breaking barriers as the first woman, first Black woman, and first person of South Asian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party, energized the campaign and symbolized the inclusivity that Biden aimed to bring to his leadership.

Navigating through a crowded Democratic primary field, Biden’s message of empathy, experience, and a promise to restore the nation’s character struck a chord with a broad coalition of voters. The COVID-19 pandemic, which upended traditional campaigning, required Biden to adapt to new forms of engagement, relying heavily on digital platforms and socially distanced events. This shift underscored the seriousness with which he took the health crisis, in stark contrast to the incumbent administration’s handling of the pandemic.

Biden’s appeal across various demographic groups, including moderates, independents, and disaffected Republicans, as well as his solid base within the Democratic Party, was instrumental in his success, particularly in key battleground states. His focus on addressing critical issues such as healthcare, the economy, systemic racism, and climate change, underpinned by a message of hope and unity, resonated with Americans seeking leadership that could navigate the country through its crises.

Results by county, shaded according to winning candidate’s percentage of the vote

The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris not only marked a significant political shift but also a moment of historical significance, reflecting a desire among a segment of the American populace for empathetic and inclusive governance. Their victory heralded a new chapter in American politics, with the promise of leadership that aimed to heal a divided nation and address the pressing challenges ahead.

Election Day and Results

On November 3, 2020, Americans participated in an election that was considered one of the most pivotal in recent memory, casting votes amid a backdrop of intense national debate, a global pandemic, and widespread calls for social and political change. The contest between Joe Biden and incumbent President Donald Trump captured the nation’s attention, reflecting deep divisions and the high stakes involved.

As the counting of votes progressed, it became clear that the election would hinge on a series of key battleground states. Biden’s performance in these critical areas, alongside solid showings in traditional Democratic strongholds, gradually tipped the scales in his favor. The race was tight, with both candidates amassing significant support, but Biden ultimately secured the necessary electoral votes to claim victory.

Biden’s win in states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin was particularly notable, given their importance in the electoral calculus and their role in the 2016 election. His ability to reclaim these states underscored the effectiveness of his campaign’s strategy and messaging, resonating with voters who were crucial to assembling a winning coalition.

The election’s outcome was a moment of significant political shift, indicating a desire among a large portion of the American electorate for a change in leadership and direction. Biden’s victory not only represented a new chapter in American politics but also set the stage for addressing the myriad challenges the country faced, from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to deep-seated societal divisions. The 2020 election, with its historic voter turnout and the intense scrutiny of its results, underscored the vibrancy of American democracy and the enduring importance of each vote in shaping the nation’s future.

Transition Period

Biden takes the oath of office administered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. at the Capitol, January 20, 2021.

After securing the presidency in the 2020 election, Joe Biden initiated the transition process, a critical phase aimed at ensuring a smooth handover of power from the outgoing administration. This period was marked by Biden’s efforts to assemble a diverse and experienced team to guide the nation through its pressing challenges. He announced a slate of advisors and cabinet nominees, drawing from a broad spectrum of backgrounds to reflect his commitment to inclusivity and expertise in governance.

During this time, the transition faced unusual hurdles. President Trump and some of his supporters raised allegations of voter fraud and sought to contest the election results through legal avenues. These claims led to a series of lawsuits aimed at challenging the outcomes in several states. However, the allegations of widespread voter fraud were largely unsubstantiated, and the legal challenges did not gain traction in the courts. Judges across the country, including some appointed by Trump himself, dismissed the lawsuits due to a lack of credible evidence, affirming the integrity of the election process.

Amidst the tumultuous transition, Biden focused on laying the groundwork for his presidency. He emphasized key policy areas that would define his administration’s agenda, demonstrating a commitment to addressing the immediate and long-term challenges facing the nation. Combatting the COVID-19 pandemic was at the forefront of his priorities, recognizing the need for a coordinated federal response to manage the public health crisis effectively and expedite vaccine distribution. Biden also underscored the importance of economic recovery, outlining plans to rejuvenate the economy and support Americans affected by the pandemic’s fallout.

Furthermore, Biden highlighted climate change as a critical issue, proposing ambitious measures to reduce carbon emissions and transition to renewable energy sources. Promoting racial justice and equality also featured prominently in his agenda, responding to the national reckoning on race and the widespread calls for reform that had intensified over the previous year.

Despite the challenges posed by the contested transition, Biden’s preparations for taking office continued unabated, signaling a readiness to tackle the nation’s most pressing issues. The transition period ultimately underscored the resilience of American democratic institutions and set the stage for the incoming administration’s efforts to lead the country toward recovery and unity.

Inauguration and Presidency

Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021, marked the commencement of his presidency under circumstances that were extraordinary by any measure. The event was notably scaled-down, reflecting the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and heightened security measures stemming from the Capitol insurrection that had shocked the nation earlier in the month. Despite these challenges, the inauguration proceeded, symbolizing the enduring strength and resilience of American democracy.

In his inaugural address, President Biden struck a tone of reconciliation and resolve, emphasizing the need for unity in a divided nation. He pledged to serve all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, and to tackle the myriad crises facing the country with determination and compassion. This message of healing and collective effort set the tone for his administration’s approach to governance.

Since taking office, President Biden has undertaken a series of actions aimed at addressing the critical issues that dominate the national agenda. Recognizing the paramount importance of overcoming the pandemic, his administration has focused on accelerating vaccine distribution, implementing measures to curb the spread of the virus, and providing guidance to safely reopen schools and businesses. These efforts have been supported by executive actions and legislative measures designed to bolster the public health response and lay the groundwork for recovery.

Economic relief has been another priority for the Biden administration, reflecting the significant financial strain experienced by millions of Americans due to the pandemic. Legislation aimed at providing direct aid to individuals, supporting small businesses, and extending unemployment benefits has been central to these efforts, seeking to stabilize the economy and pave the way for a robust recovery.

Immigration reform and infrastructure investment have also emerged as key areas of focus. President Biden has signaled a departure from the previous administration’s policies, proposing comprehensive immigration reform to modernize the system and provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. Additionally, ambitious plans to invest in the nation’s infrastructure aim to create jobs, address climate change, and enhance the United States’ competitiveness in the global economy.

Throughout his presidency, Biden has navigated the complexities of governing a nation in crisis, striving to deliver on his promises to heal, rebuild, and unite the country. His administration’s actions reflect a commitment to addressing immediate challenges while also laying the foundation for long-term progress on issues ranging from climate change to racial justice. As President Biden continues to lead, his efforts to steer the country through these turbulent times and toward a brighter future remain a focal point of his tenure in office.