THE JOE SHOW
Biden outlines ‘battle for the soul of the nation’ as he accepts Dem nomination for president
WILMINGTON, Del. — Joe Biden vowed to unite an America torn by crisis and contempt Thursday night as he accepted the Democratic presidential nomination, an achievement that had eluded him over three decades because of personal tragedy, political stumbles and rivals who proved more dynamic. Contrasting himself with President Donald Trump, he declared, “I’ll be an ally of the light, not our darkness.”
The past hurdles fell away as Biden addressed his fellow Democrats and millions of Americans at home who he hopes will send him to the White House to replace Trump — though his triumphant moment was drained of immediate drama by the coronavirus pandemic, which left him speaking to a nearly empty arena rather than a joyously cheering crowd.
In a race filled with Trump’s insults and name-calling, Biden declared, “Here and now I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. l’ ll be an ally of the light, not our darkness.”
“And make no mistake, united we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America.”
Fireworks lit the sky outside as the convention ended, giving a celebratory feel at last to the affair.
In his acceptance speech, Biden highlighted both his world view and a series of deeply personal challenges that shaped his life. On issues big and small, the 77-yearold Democrat presented a sharp contrast to the Republican president but maintained a hopeful tone throughout.
Trump, who is 74, publicly doubts Biden’s mental capacity and calls him “Slow Joe,” but with the nation watching, Biden was firm and clear.
The pandemic has shaken the nation and fundamentally altered the campaign. But Biden pointed to the public health emergency and the severe economic fallout to turn traits previously seen as vulnerabilities, notably a long career spent in elected office, into an advantage by presenting himself as a competent leader in a moment that Democrats say cries out for one in the White House.
The night’s address was the speech of a lifetime for Biden, who would be the oldest president ever elected if he defeats Trump in November. But his convention leaned on a younger generation earlier in the night to help energize his sprawling coalition.
Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois senator who lost both legs in Iraq and is raising two young children, said Biden has “common decency.”
Cory Booker, only the ninth African American senator in U.S. history, said Biden believes in the dignity of all working Americans.
And Pete Buttigieg, a 38-year-old openly gay military veteran from
Indiana, noted that Biden came out in favor of same-sex marriage as vice president even before President Barack Obama did.
“Joe Biden is right, this is a contest for the soul of the nation. And to me that contest is not between good Americans and evil Americans,” Buttigieg said. “It’s the struggle to call out what is good for every American.”
Above all, Biden focused on uniting the nation as Americans grapple with the long and fearful health crisis, the related economic devastation, a national awakening on racial justice — and Trump, who stirs heated emotions from all sides.
Biden’s positive focus Thursday night marked a break from the dire warnings offered by former President Obama and others the night before. The 44th president of the United States warned that American democracy itself could falter if Trump is reelected, while Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, the 55-year-old California senator and the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, warned that Americans’ lives and livelihoods were at risk.
Biden’s Democratic Party has sought this week to put forward a cohesive vision of values and policy priorities, highlighting efforts to combat climate change, tighten gun laws and embrace a humane immigration policy. They have drawn a sharp contrast with Trump’s policies and personality, portraying him as cruel, selfcentered and woefully unprepared to manage virtually any of the nation’s mounting crises and policy challenges.
The addition of former New York Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg to Thursday’s convention lineup is another example of Biden trying to appeal to moderate and even Republican voters. Bloomberg has been a Republican, independent and a Democrat throughout his career.
On Thursday, Bloomberg asked: “Would you rehire or work for someone who ran your business into the ground, and who always does what’s best for him or her, even when it hurts the company?”
He asked, “If the answer is no, why the hell would we ever rehire Donald Trump for another four years?”
Voting was a prime focus of the convention on Thursday as it has been all week. Democrats fear that the pandemic -- and the Trump administration -- may make it difficult for voters to cast ballots in person or by mail.
Comedian Sarah Cooper, a favorite of many Democrats for her videos lip syncing Trump’s speeches, put it bluntly: “Donald Trump doesn’t want any of us to vote because he knows he can’t win fair and square.”
Biden’s call for unity comes as some strategists worry that Democrats cannot retake the White House simply by tearing Trump down; Biden needs to give his sprawling coalition something to vote for. That’s easier said than done in a modern Democratic Party made up of disparate factions that span generation, race and ideology.
The pandemic forced Biden’s team to abandon the typical convention pageantry and rely instead on a highly produced, all-virtual affair that has failed to draw the same television ratings as past conventions. The silence was noticeable Thursday night as Biden took the stage to make history in a cavernous hall in downtown Wilmington. His audience consisted of a few dozen reporters and photographers.
It’s Trump’s turn next. The Republican president, who abandoned plans to host his convention in North Carolina and in Florida, is expected to break tradition and accept his nomination from the White House lawn next week.
Joe Biden accepts the Democratic nomination for president Thursday on the final day of the Democratic National Convention.
Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden delivers his acceptance speech Thursday night on the final day of the Democratic National Convention, from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware.
Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said Thursday that “this is a contest for the soul of the nation.”
Former New York Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg asked, “Why the hell would we ever rehire Donald Trump for another four years?”