US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris delivered their victory speeches from Wilmington in Delaware after winning the race to the White House, during which they emphasised on the unity, and “healing of America”, while also giving the subtle reminder for the decades of struggles by women and their journey to empowerment.
Amid the cheering of supporters in Wilmington’s Chase centre, Biden and Harris gave their first speech as President-elect and Vice-President-elect respectively.
Harris, who chose to wear an all-white suit in a tribute to suffragettes 100 years after women’s constitutional right to vote was guaranteed, spoke first and began her victory speech by quoting the late congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, who said, “Democracy is not a state, it’s not an act.”
Speaking after Harris, Biden emphasised on a message of unity and said the time has now come to “heal and restore the soul of America.”
He said he was humbled by the trust America had placed in him and reached out to those Americans who did not vote for him. “I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance,” he said, adding later in his remarks, “This is the time to heal in America.”
The Democratic presidential candidate defeated President Donald Trump in a closely contested election and will be the 46th president of the United States. He is the oldest person elected President in the history of the US.
In this, his third attempt at the White House, Biden, a four-decade Washington figure as a Senator and then a vice president, received more than 74 million votes, 4 million more than Trump, and more than any other presidential candidate.
Biden said he will first attempt to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. “On Monday I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisers. I will spare no effort, none, or any commitment to turn around this pandemic.” President-elect Joe Biden concluded his speech this evening by citing a popular Catholic hymn “On Eagles’ Wings,” saying it was a favourite of his deceased son Beau and has inspired him through the final days of the campaign. “In the last days of the campaign, I’ve been thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and to my family, particularly my deceased son Beau.” he said. “It captures the faith that sustains me and which I believe sustains America.”
Biden has said that he would be honoured to be serving with Kamala Harris. He said: “I will be honoured to be serving with a fantastic vice president — Kamala Harris — who will make history as the first woman, first Black woman, the first woman of South Asian descent, and first daughter of immigrants ever elected to national office in this country,”
Meanwhile, Harris thanked people of American for voting in people of the United States “for turning out in record number” and said Americans have ushered in a “new day” for the country.
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.” Harris also thanked Black women, saying they are “too often overlooked, but so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy.”
She remembered her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who immigrated to the United States from India as a young woman. “When she came here when was 19, she could not have imagined this moment,” Harris said.
“All the women who have worked to secure and protect the right to vote for over a century – 100 years ago with the 19th Amendment, 55 years ago with the Voting Rights Act and now in 2020 with a new generation of women in our country who cast their ballots and continued their fight for the fundamental right to vote and be heard,” Harris said Saturday.
Biden and Harris were joined on stage following their speeches in Wilmington by their families.
Biden was seen kissing his grandchildren and hugging his family as fireworks exploded overhead. A series of drones also flew overhead and made the shape of the US and “BIDEN”.