Analysis: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris declare 'America's back' at victory rally

The pair tried to turn the page on the Trump era, delivering a message of unity and patriotism

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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris delivered victory speeches on Saturday night at a rally in Delaware, concluding a long and often bitter election campaign against US President Donald Trump, who has become the first incumbent since George HW Bush in 1992 to be voted out of office.

In their addresses, Mr Biden and Ms Harris tried to turn the page on the Trump era, sending out a message of unity and patriotism.

Dressed in suffragette white, Ms Harris made her speech on the 100-year anniversary of American women securing the right to vote.

Before introducing Mr Biden, Ms Harris said that “while I may be the first woman in this position... I will not be the last".

Referring to her late mother, Ms Harris said: “When she came here from India at the age of 19, she maybe didn’t quite imagine this moment. But she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible.”

Mr Biden’s speech offered a vision and a tone that was in marked contrast to the often divisive rhetoric of Mr Trump. There was no populist undertone or muscle-flexing against foreign or domestic adversaries. Instead, the 77-year-old president-elect opted for a message of unity inside America and one of restoration abroad.

“For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment. I lost a few times myself, but let us give each other a chance... we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies. This is the time to heal in America,” Mr Biden said.

He promised to work on urgent challenges, such as the pandemic.

“It's time for our better angels to prevail. At our best, America is a beacon for the world. We will lead, not only by our power, but by our power of example,” Mr Biden said. “The message is: America’s back.”

There was a sense of humility and authenticity in Mr Biden’s speech. There was also emphasis on the broad coalition that elected him, promising a Cabinet that will resemble the diversity of the US: “Democrats, Republicans, independents, progressives, moderates, conservatives, young, old, urban, suburban, rural, gay, straight, transgender, white, Latino, Asian, Native American."

Mr Biden also listed a number of priorities that his administration would tackle once he takes office in January.

“The battle to control the virus, the battle to build prosperity, the battle to secure your family’s health care, the battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country, the battle to save our planet by getting climate under control, the battle to restore decency, defend democracy and give everybody in this country a fair shot,” he said.

Mr Biden is expected to announce critical appointments related to a Covid-19 task force this week. When he takes office, he is likely to sign executive orders that will reverse many of the Trump administration's policies.

The new president is reported to be seeking to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change and the World Health Organisation. He will also repeal Mr Trump’s ban on immigration from several Muslim-majority countries and reinstate the Dreamers programme.

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