The Third Time Is a Charm

I just finished watching President-Elect Joe Biden’s speech from Wilmington, Delaware. I thought it was a wonderful speech; inspirational, emotional, and optimistic. I wish him and Kamala Harris the best of luck.

Here is the full text of the speech, as prepared for delivery (the video is at the end):

My fellow Americans, the people of this nation have spoken.

They have delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory. 
A victory for “We the People.”
We have won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation — 74 million.

I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me.

I pledge to be a President who seeks not to divide, but to unify.

Who doesn’t see Red and Blue states, but a United States.

And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people.

For that is what America is about: The people.

And that is what our Administration will be about.

I sought this office to restore the soul of America. 

To rebuild the backbone of the nation — the middle class. 

To make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home.

It is the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for this vision. 

And now the work of making this vision real is the task of our time. 

As I said many times before, I’m Jill’s husband. 

I would not be here without the love and tireless support of Jill, Hunter, Ashley, all of our grandchildren and their spouses, and all our family. 

They are my heart. 

Jill’s a mom — a military mom — and an educator. 

She has dedicated her life to education, but teaching isn’t just what she does — it’s who she is. For America’s educators, this is a great day: You’re going to have one of your own in the White House, and Jill is going to make a great First Lady.

And I will be honored to be serving with a fantastic vice president — Kamala Harris — who will make history as the first woman, first Black woman, first woman of South Asian descent, and first daughter of immigrants ever elected to national office in this country.

It’s long overdue, and we’re reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen. But once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.

Kamala, Doug — like it or not — you’re family. You’ve become honorary Bidens and there’s no way out.

To all those who volunteered, worked the polls in the middle of this pandemic, local election officials — you deserve a special thanks from this nation. 

To my campaign team, and all the volunteers, to all those who gave so much of themselves to make this moment possible, I owe you everything.

And to all those who supported us: I am proud of the campaign we built and ran. I am proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse in history. 

Democrats, Republicans and Independents. 

Progressives, moderates and conservatives. 

Young and old. 

Urban, suburban and rural. 

Gay, straight, transgender. 

White. Latino. Asian. Native American. 

And especially for those moments when this campaign was at its lowest — the African American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I’ll have yours.

I said from the outset I wanted a campaign that represented America, and I think we did that. Now that’s what I want the administration to look like.

And to those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight. 

I’ve lost a couple of elections myself. 

But now, let’s give each other a chance. 

It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric.

To lower the temperature. 

To see each other again. 

To listen to each other again.

To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. 

We are not enemies. We are Americans.

The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season — a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal.

This is the time to heal in America.

Now that the campaign is over — what is the people’s will? What is our mandate?

I believe it is this: Americans have called on us to marshal the forces of decency and the forces of fairness. To marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time. 

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 the climate.

The battle to restore decency, defend democracy, and give everybody in this country a fair shot.

Our work begins with getting COVID under control. 

We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life’s most precious moments — hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us — until we get this virus under control.

On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as Transition Advisors to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on January 20th, 2021.

That plan will be built on a bedrock of science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern.

I will spare no effort — or commitment — to turn this pandemic around.

I ran as a proud Democrat. I will now be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me — as those who did.

Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end — here and now. 

The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control. 

It’s a decision. It’s a choice we make.

And if we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate. And I believe that this is part of the mandate from the American people. They want us to cooperate.

That’s the choice I’ll make. And I call on the Congress — Democrats and Republicans alike — to make that choice with me.

The American story is about the slow, yet steady widening of opportunity. 

Make no mistake: Too many dreams have been deferred for too long. 

We must make the promise of the country real for everybody — no matter their race, their ethnicity, their faith, their identity, or their disability.

America has always been shaped by inflection points — by moments in time where we’ve made hard decisions about who we are and what we want to be. 

Lincoln in 1860 — coming to save the Union. 

FDR in 1932 — promising a beleaguered country a New Deal. 

JFK in 1960 — pledging a New Frontier. 

And twelve years ago — when Barack Obama made history — and told us, “Yes, we can.”

We stand again at an inflection point.

We have the opportunity to defeat despair and to build a nation of prosperity and purpose.

We can do it. I know we can.

I’ve long talked about the battle for the soul of America. 

We must restore the soul of America. 

Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses.

It is time for our better angels to prevail.

Tonight, the whole world is watching America. I believe at our best America is a beacon for the globe.

And we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.

I’ve always believed we can define America in one word: Possibilities.

That in America everyone should be given the opportunity to go as far as their dreams and God-given ability will take them.

You see, I believe in the possibility of this country. 

We’re always looking ahead. 

Ahead to an America that’s freer and more just.

Ahead to an America that creates jobs with dignity and respect. 

Ahead to an America that cures disease — like cancer and Alzheimers. 

Ahead to an America that never leaves anyone behind.

Ahead to an America that never gives up, never gives in.

This is a great nation. 

And we are a good people. 

This is the United States of America. 

And there has never been anything we haven’t been able to do when we’ve done it together.

In the last days of the campaign, I’ve been thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and to my family, particularly my deceased son Beau. It captures the faith that sustains me and which I believe sustains America. 

And I hope it can provide some comfort and solace to the more than 230,000 families who have lost a loved one to this terrible virus this year. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. Hopefully this hymn gives you solace as well.

“And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,

Bear you on the breath of dawn, 

Make you to shine like the sun, 

And hold you in the palm of His Hand.”

And now, together — on eagle’s wings — we embark on the work that God and history have called upon us to do. 

With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country — and a thirst for justice — let us be the nation that we know we can be.

A nation united.

A nation strengthened.

A nation healed.

The United States of America. 

God bless you. 

And may God protect our troops.


34 thoughts on “The Third Time Is a Charm

  1. It came across as a laundry list of cliches and bromides to me. I’m sorry, but I still haven’t found much inspiring about the guy. Then again, boring politicians can be good for stability, which we may need after the whirlwind of Donald Trump.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It was one of his better speeches as he isn’t normally a dynamic speaker. I liked listening to Kamala Harris too. It was nice not to have someone fanning the flames or promoting fear. Three consecutive days of over 100,000 new cases of Covid. Who knows where we’ll be by January?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not since Abraham Lincoln has an American President been faced with such a great divide in our country. What lies before us is an opportunity. We can continue to be uncompromising and divisive, or we can recognize that we have more in common than we do that separates us. I wish our duly elected new President and Vice President all the best as they endeavor to heal our wounded and beleaguered nation.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for sharing the entire speech transcript. I find it very inspiring and uplifting and I hope your country rallies behind the new President and that he can achieve all that he has stated and more. It is really up to all your country’s peoples to do just that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is an inspiring speech as was the speech by VP elect Kamala Harris. I’m very relieved not to be faced with four more years of Trump as president. Defeated Trump could be even more unhinged than President Trump and be a serious impediment to the type of compromise and bipartisanship that the country needs.

    Get ready for the pardons for Trump’s family and partners in crime. Trump might even pardon himself, or resign just before the inauguration and have Pence do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, both speeches were quite inspiring. You have to admire his perseverance to run a third time. I just hope Trump goes quietly into the night, but I don’t see that as a likely outcome. It’s been 15 hours without him tweeting – I wonder if that is a record for him…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A great result, and a great speech. It’s good to know there will be someone Presidential in the White House. He has a huge job in uniting your country, after all the divisions created by his predecessor.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is such a relief to hear kindness and optimism out of the mouth of an elect president. Congratulation! Yes, it was a laundry list of cliches, but this is exactly what is needed since you can probably take each one of these cliches and position it against something evil that came out of t’s mouth. Almost like spells cast to ward evil 🙂 I thought that both speeches were inspiring, humane, and most of all human!


  8. “Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end — here and now. The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control. It’s a decision. It’s a choice we make. And if we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate.”

    Well, he certainly got that part right: Four years of Democrats accusing Trump of being Hitler and his supporters as being fascists or Nazis. An election where Biden himself kept bringing up the “Fine People” lie, which has been debunked more often than you can count; or the border cages (which were built and used during the Obama administration.) 71 million voters supported Trump and I don’t imagine they are feeling all that fond of the Democratic party after 4 years of being vilified for something they are not.

    Within his own ranks, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC Nov 6 US House candidate, NY-14) is saying: “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future?” (She is encouraging people to punish Trump supporters.) She is criticizing the Democratic party for incompetence and is warning that if the Biden administration does not put progressives in top positions, the party could lose big in the 2022 midterm elections.

    On the other side of the same party, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Virginia Democrat took issue with democratic socialism and calls to defund the police. “We need to not ever use the word ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again … We lost good members because of that,” the representative said. “If we are classifying Tuesday as a success … we will get f—ing torn apart in 2022.”

    Anyone who thought it was the Republicans tearing America apart might be surprised when they find how ugly the battle will be between the two elements of the Democratic Party. From where I sit, here in Canada, the Republicans and moderate Democrats are far more closely aligned than they want to admit.

    Of course, the fight isn’t over until voter fraud is examined very closely, which it probably should have been done in 2016. I don’t know why the Democrats went with Russian interference instead of looking at voter fraud.

    Liked by 1 person

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