In the latter stages of the 2020 campaign, Joe Biden had a soft message for the nation-divided that he hoped to govern, the gist of which was distilled down into an oft-repeated mantra about being the “President for all Americans, not just the ones that voted for me”.
The unifier role was what he was going for, hoping to turn down the temperature in a nation bereft with bombast. And, for a while there, it seems as though Biden was going to pull it off.
But now, just 5 weeks from his inauguration, the former Vice President is turning the tone up a few notches.
Biden called the election, which Trump and his supporters have tried to overturn with scores of failed legal challenges, “honest, free and fair.” And he called attacks on the election and election officials “simply unconscionable” and Trump’s attempts to overturn the election an “abuse of power.”
“In America, politicians don’t take power — the people grant it to them,” he said. “The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know that nothing, not even a pandemic — or an abuse of power — can extinguish that flame.
“In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed,” Biden added. “We the people voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact. And so, now it is time to turn the page. To unite. To heal.”
Biden himself has a bit of a duality to exist within, after being nominated in 2020 in order to appeal to moderate voters who are looking for unity, but now feeling pressure from the progressive wing of the party to keep their lurch to the left on track.
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