Celebrations erupted in towns and villages across the country on Saturday after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential race.
It was a remarkable – and unlikely – scene, as our reporters Matt Flegenheimer and Katie glueck write in a news analysis. Matt and Katie remind us that Biden is the same “70-something institutionalist, incorrigible square, inexhaustible reciter of Irish poetry” that he always was. “But then, it looks like defeating President Trump can do strange things for a man’s reputation.”
Biden and Kamala Harris, the vice president-elect, projected an executive air Saturday night as they took the stage to address the country in Wilmington, Calif., Hours after the start of the race.
Harris began with a speech this guest women, especially women of color, to bask in the milestone of her election as first female vice president. She invoked her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who arrived in the United States as an Indian immigrant at age 19.
“I think of her and the generations of women, black women, Asian women, white women, Latin women, Native Americans, who throughout our country’s history have led the way in this moment tonight,” Harris said. “Women who fought so hard and sacrificed themselves for equality, freedom and justice for all, including black women who are too often overlooked, but who so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy. ”
In his own remarks, Biden declared “the honor of my life” that the country has sided with his message of unity and head-on confrontation with the coronavirus. Early Monday, he unveiled a transitional team of scientists and experts to prepare his response to the virus. “This plan will be built on the basis of basic science,” he said in his speech on Saturday.
Veterans of the Republican and Democratic administrations are now calling on Trump to accept his electoral loss and begin the transition process. But he showed no willingness to do so – and in fact, he remained strangely silent apart from a cascade of tweets, which many Twitter has called misleading.
The non-partisan Center for the Presidential Transition issued a letter on Sunday urging it to move forward with the transition.
“While there are legal disputes requiring arbitration, the outcome is clear enough that the transition process must now begin,” wrote the four members of its advisory board, which includes veterans from the Clinton, Obama and George W. Bush. The center participated in presidential transition activities during four electoral cycles.
The pressure is now on the General Service Administration, which is responsible for declaring a successful candidate and facilitating the transition process. Its Trump-appointed administrator, Emily Murphy, has yet to assert Biden’s victory.
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” James Clyburn, Democratic House whip and adviser to Biden, urged Republicans to break with the president. “What matters to me is whether or not the Republican Party will mobilize and help us preserve the integrity of this democracy,” he said.
Enough votes have been counted in Pennsylvania, Nevada, and other nearby states, it’s clear Trump lost the election. In Pennsylvania, for example, ballots received after election day were sorted and counted separately from those received up to November 3.
It would become relevant if Republicans succeeded in overturning a state court ruling allowing ballots to be accepted up to three days after election day. The good news for Biden is that it doesn’t seem like losing those ballots alone would be enough to erase his lead in the state.
In Arizona, more votes were held on Sunday, narrowly breaking for Trump. He doesn’t appear to be able to overtake Biden in the state, who remains undecided and would only add to Biden’s electoral college victory margin if he were to win.
House news runs across the country has generally been better for Republicans than Democrats. An exception came in the northeast suburb of Atlanta, where Carolyn Bourdeaux was declared the winner on Friday in a House neighborhood that had been evacuated by five-term Republican MP Rob Woodall.
But overall, Democrats have lost a net five seats in the House this cycle, with a number of races across the country still not called.
Here’s another thing Republicans must celebrate: Last night, Democrats failed to overthrow a single state chamber in an election year that will determine who controls the ten-year redistribution process.
Democrats are seeking to be completely excluded from the district selection process – which will use data from the 2020 census – in key states, including Florida, Texas and North Carolina. Together, these states will represent more than 80 seats in Congress from 2022.