Biden seeks to unify country in first speech as President-elect

Biden seeks to unify country as President-elect

The Syracuse University Law alumnus and Democratic nominee secures the electoral votes he needs to win the White House.
Published: November 6, 2020
Students watch speech
Juniors Anna Sebree, Casey Tissue, Caroline Leduc and Haley Vaughan ended a week of anxiously awaiting the election results by watching Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' speeches Saturday night.

After Election Day turned into election week with millions of Americans on the edges of their seats, Joe Biden has reached the 270 electoral college votes to become the next president-elect. Americans came out to show their support as Biden addressed the nation Saturday night from Wilmington, Deleware.

“I am humbled by the trust and confidence you’ve placed in me,” Biden said. “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify.”

Biden thanked his family for their continued support and his supporters for their “outpouring of joy, hope and renewed faith of tomorrow.”Election 2020

“We the people have the power to build a better future,” Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said. “You chose hope and unity, decency, science and truth. You chose Joe Biden as the next president of the United States of America.”

At 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, CNN, followed by other major networks, projected Biden’s victory after the Democratic nominee’s vote count increased in Pennsylvania, giving him a total of 284 electoral votes and securing him the presidency, according to The Associated Press.

Biden broke the record for receiving the most popular votes in a presidential election, with a total of more than 74 million votes, which is 50.6% of the national votes. Biden, who graduated from the SU Law School in 1968, is the first SU alumnus to become president. Harris will also be making history as not only the first woman vice president but also the first vice president of color.

In an official statement released at noon on Saturday, the Biden Campaign acknowledged the vast voter turnout in the 2020 election, and called for a unity of the nation.

“It’s time for America to unite. And to heal,” the statement said. “We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.”

Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral college votes pushed Biden to victory as the week came to a close, receiving nearly 50% of the state’s popular vote. Earlier in the week, Donald Trump held a strong lead in the state, but mail-in ballots favored Biden, ensuring him a win.

Chris Bezdedeanu, a policy studies and citizenship and civic engagement sophomore, said he was expected the state to flip blue in favor of Biden.

“Now, we could finally say for certain that after five days of sleepless nights, an inability to focus on anything but the counting of these ballots and relentless hope, we can rest easy tonight that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are going to be out next President and Vice President of the United States,” he said Saturday. “No, they’re not a perfect ticket, and there is still a lot of work to be done in this country, but this new Executive Branch will only help us to progress forward, instead of continuing to fall behind.”

Other key states added to the uncertainty of the election. Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina and Nevada kept tensions high as the race tightened throughout the week, with Trump holding a lead in North Carolina while Biden ahead in Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, although those states have yet to finish counting their ballots

Vice President Joe Biden at Syracuse University
Joe Biden, shown here during a 2015 visit to Syracuse University as Vice President, surpassed 270 electoral votes Saturday to become President-elect.

Augustus LeRoux, a sophomore and College Republicans member, said he was disappointed to see that Pennsylvania flipped, but was most surprised by Georgia turning blue.

“As someone who voted for Trump, I’m honestly not disappointed by the outcome,” LeRoux said Saturday. “Republicans will likely retain the Senate, kneecapping the Biden administration from the outset.”

LeRoux added that he expects the Trump administration to demand recounts and audits of the swing states, which he feels is “warranted,” but won’t change the outcome of the 2020 election.

Throughout this week, Trump has claimed voter fraud and illegitimate ballot counting, filed lawsuits and said the election was being “stolen” from him. It is unclear if he will officially concede, or if there is more malarkey to come from the current president.

“I anticipate Trump to continue to fighting this outcome, as I’m sure many do as well, and I honestly can’t say for certain whether or not I expect him to deliver a concession speech anytime soon, if at all,” said Bezdedeanu.

As the next president-elect was announced Saturday morning, Trump tweeted, “I won this election, by a lot!”

Friday afternoon, the Trump Campaign released an official statement, which did not include a concession. Instead, it claimed that the election is “far from over.”

The current president said that on Monday, his team will prosecute their case in court “to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.” He also said that America deserves an “honest election” by counting all the votes, and insinuated that Biden and his team are engaging in “wrongdoing” or “hiding” something, statements which currently lack evidence.

Although Biden has secured more than 270 votes, the election will likely drag on for several more days. According to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s press conference Friday morning, Georgia will be heading for a recount as Biden currently has only a 7,248 vote lead as of Saturday.