New York Daily News: WASHINGTON, USA – Joe Biden, finally triumphant after a contentious campaign across a deeply divided nation, was elected Saturday as the nation’s 46th president after a frantic finish that left the vanquished Donald Trump as a White House one-termer.
Biden learned he was headed to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. at home in Wilmington, Del, while Trump was out playing golf. It was a fitting finish to a bitterly-fought race that capped the new commander-in-chief’s five-decade political career dating to his days as a Delaware city councilman.
Trump offered no congratulations to the victor, instead leveling more baseless charges that he was cheated — and vowing to unleash a legal war next week.
The announcement that Biden and running mate Kamala Harris had won the highest offices in the land set off impromptu street celebrations in Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and outside the White House in Washington, DC.
“Folks, the people of his nation have spoken. They have delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory, a victory for ‘We the people,’” Biden told a crowd of thousands of cheering supporters at an outdoor speech Saturday evening in Wilmington, Del.
“We have won with the most votes ever cast in a presidential ticket in the history of the nation, 74 million,” Biden said.
“I sought this office to restore the soul of America — to rebuild the backbone of the nation — the middle class. To make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home,” Biden said.
“It is the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for this vision.”
Speaking of vice-president elect Harris, Biden noted she is the “first woman, first Black woman, first woman of South Asian descent, and first daughter of immigrants ever elected to national office in this country.”
“It’s long overdue, and we’re reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen. But once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice,” Biden said.
He then invoked the words of 19th-century theologian Theodore Parker and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King: “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”
“Once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe more toward justice,” Biden said.
He said that his first task will be working to get the coronavirus pandemic under control.
“We can not 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,” he said in his victory speech.
Biden said on Monday he will name “a group of leading scientists and experts” as transition advisers who would come up with “an action blueprint” to be implemented when he and Harris take office Jan. 20.
That plan will be built on bedrock science,” he said. “It will be constructed out compassion empathy and concern.”
Word that Biden cracked the magic mark of 270 electoral votes came Saturday morning as the last act in a heart-pounding, roller-coaster race that continued for four days after the polls closed Tuesday. Biden, a native of blue-collar Scranton, Pa., was put over the top by voters in his home state of Pennsylvania.
The nation watched intently as votes were counted from coast to coast, with Biden picking up momentum and finally overcoming an early Trump lead.
In the year when COVID-19 killed 237,000 Americans and infected nearly 10 million more — including Trump, his wife and their son — the president’s hopes were scuttled by the millions of pandemic mail-in votes as the overall voter turnout hit a record high of more than 145 million ballots.
As the count dragged on, Biden seized late leads from the president in several battleground states, including Pennsylvania and Georgia, as the massive mail votes backing the Democratic challenger were painstakingly totaled from coast to coast.
After Biden victories in Wisconsin and Michigan were announced, the Democratic challenger was looking at several paths to the needed 270 Electoral College votes — with the prized Pennsylvania tally of 20 votes providing the clincher on Saturday morning.
The Trump campaign predictably did not give up without a fight; lawsuits were already filed in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia as he slipped behind the Democrat.
The president, despite the undeniable national numbers bearing witness to his defeat, immediately issued a statement after Biden’s victory was declared, insisting the race was “far from over” after he became just the 10th sitting president to lose his re-election bid.
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election law are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated,” said Trump, who has still yet to offer a single valid example of widespread voter fraud. “The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots.
“So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American people have the honest vote count they deserve.”
Deputy White House Press Secretary Judd Deere, asked if the president intended to call and congratulate Biden, said there were “no scheduling updates at this time” for the rest of Trump’s day.
Trump was still upset hours after the race was called. “I WON THE ELECTION,” Trump tweeted late Saturday afternoon. He griped without evidence that “BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE.”
Twitter tagged the Trump rant: “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”
Biden, who turns 78 later this month and will become America’s oldest president, won after a tumultuous campaign featuring a raucous debate and his insistence on following COVID-19 protocols as Trump ignored science to hold huge outdoor rallies in the final days of the race.
The former vice president and longtime senator led in the pre-Election Day polls, as did Democratic predecessor Hillary Clinton in 2016. But Biden won where Clinton fell short.
The political veteran takes over a nation divided between Trump’s die-hard MAGA fans and Biden backers seeking a return to some degree of normalcy after four years of White House tweets, national protests and the coronavirus pandemic.
The septuagenarian overcame the concerns about his age, holding his own in a pair of feisty one-on-one debates with Trump.
The incumbent denounced Biden as “Sleepy Joe,” but Biden enlivened enough voters to oust Trump four years after leaving Washington with President Obama. He joined the Obama ticket in 2008 after his own presidential campaign failed to gain any traction during the primaries.
Biden spent tens of millions of dollars in the campaign’s final days for online advertising focused on his simple campaign messages: A promise to govern for all Americans, and an unrelenting attack on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Top Feature Photo: Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden smiles during a roundtable on economic reopening with community members, in Philadelphia – MattSlocum/AP