Almost-President-elect Joe Biden gave a speech in Wilmington, Delaware Friday night that signaled a hopeful return to baseline decency in the White House, and a move away from the crazy-making public statements we’ve gotten used to from the current President.
“We don’t have a final declaration of victory yet,” Biden said, while flanked by VP candidate Kamala Harris in his speech broadcast by C-Span. “But the numbers tell us a clear and convincing story—we’re going to win this race.”
The former VP pointed to his leads in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada, indicating that he is likely to secure more than the 270 electoral votes required to win the presidency.
Biden also touted his massive popular vote victory, highlighting that he and Harris have earned over 74 million votes so far, “more than any presidential ticket has ever gotten in the history of the U.S.,” and are roundly beating Trump by 4 million.
Of course the presidential win is not so easily—or logically—determined by the breakdown of all votes cast across the country, and Biden called for patience as the count in those states that carry much weight in the electoral college continues.
“I know watching these vote tallies on TV moves very slow, and as slow as it goes it can be numbing. But never forget the tallies aren’t just numbers, they represent votes and numbers—men and women who exercised their fundamental right to have their voice heard.”
“Your vote will be counted, I don’t care how hard people try to stop it. I will not let it happen,” Biden emphasized, adding that the purpose of our politics is not “total, unrelenting, unending warfare,” though it’s debatable if the party he plans to reconcile with actually agrees with this sentiment.
As daily COVID deaths in the U.S. continue to number over 1,000, Biden also flagged that his administration would take immediate measures to control the virus on , and displayed empathy for the over 200,000 so far people lost to the disease in America that Trump has yet to be able to muster.
“We’ll never be able to measure all that pain, and the loss and suffering that so many families have experienced. We know something about how it feels to lose someone, and I want them to know they are not alone. Our hearts break with you.”
The long-absent presidential tone in our national discourse struck many who tuned in to watch Biden speak as the results of Election 2020 continue to be decided. The phrase “listening to Biden” emerged in Twitter’s trending topics on Friday night with tweets celebrating the prospect of a president who speaks like a human being:
Yes, the bar for presidential behavior is now on the ground. But let’s hope this election gets called soon so we can begin on the journey of raising it.