- 07 Nov 20
The waiting is over. Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the Presidential election in the United States of America, bringing an end to the dreadful presidency of Donald Trump. There is one caveat: Donal Trump is not conceding defeat...
Joe Biden has won the US Presidential election, defeating the incumbent Donald Trump in what is a historic victory. His win should bring to an end one of the most turbulent and disruptive periods not just in recent US history, but also in international affairs as Donald Trump’s belligerent America First credo dragged his country repeatedly into the diplomatic mire.
The race for the White House was called in Mr Biden's favour just before 4.30pm this afternoon by CNN, NBC News and CBS News, as an impregnable lead was opened up in Pennsylvania – one of the vital 'swing states' where votes were still being counted. While there remain different estimates as to the number of electoral college votes definitively secured by Joe Biden, there is agreement across the entire media spectrum in the United States that he has garnered more than the 270 needed for victory.
The win is already being widely celebrated around the world, with the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins being among the first to congratulate the winning Democratic team of Biden and Vice-President Elect, Kamala Harris.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris,” Joe Biden said in as statement, following confirmation of his victory in Pennsylvania, which sealed the national deal with its 20 electoral college votes.
The election saw the highest voter turnout in the US in a century. And Joe Biden racked up over 74 million votes (and rising), the biggest tally in US history, exceeding the previous record achieved by Barack Obama in 2008. Biden will be the 46th President of the United States, with his inauguration scheduled for 20 January 2021.
“In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted,” Joe Biden added, “proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America.”
While Donald Trump has been making increasingly bellicose noises as the election count proceeded, and militia members have been seen on the streets in parts of the US carrying weapons, Joe Biden appealed to Americans to unite now that the election is finished.
“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” Joe Biden said. “It’s time for America to unite. And to heal. We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.”
A peaceful transfer of power is not yet guaranteed, with the outgoing President Donald Trump refusing to concede that Joe Biden has won. Indeed, by the hour, he sounds increasingly desperate – and perhaps even dangerous. Or being kinder, like a baby whose rattle has been confiscated.
"I WON THIS ELECTION BY A LOT,” Donald Trump whinged in just one more deranged tweet – of which he has pinged countless thousands out into the electronic ether during his disastrous four-year Presidency.
“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner," he added, "and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over.”
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”
There is, however, widespread agreement that Donald Trump’s wild claims about electoral fraud have absolutely no basis in fact, and therefore no credibility – and very little to no chance of success in court. Even Fox News, which has been Donald Trump’s most fervent media cheer-leader over the past four years has urged Trump to behave with grace, and concede defeat.
The result is historic for reasons other than the defeat of the most divisive President in US history.
Joe Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, will become the first woman, and the first woman of colour, to serve as Vice-President in the United States of America.
"This election is about so much more than @JoeBiden or me,” Kamala Harris said in a Tweet. "It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started."
Meanwhile, the Biden victory is being celebrated across the world, with President Michael D. Higgins setting the tone in a statement issued on behalf of the Irish people. Joe Biden is known to be particularly proud of his Irish-American roots.
"Today, I have conveyed my best wishes to President-elect Joe Biden,” President Higgins said, "congratulating him and wishing him and the American people every good fortune for his term in office, and congratulating Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on her historic achievement.
"Sabina and I, and the staff at Áras an Uachtaráin, have the warmest memories of Joe Biden’s two visits to us.
"The bonds between the peoples of Ireland and the United States are close and strong, and I look forward to our two countries working together to rebuild the much-needed trust in the methods and institutions of national and international solidarity and cooperation.
"That solidarity is indispensable, if we are to address the urgent challenges of our time, including such diverse issues as the need to address the cause and consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, global poverty, hunger, migration and the digitisation of our economies, all issues on which the President-elect has expressed a commitment.
"On behalf of the people of Ireland, I wish President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris every success in the years ahead.”
Joe Biden was also warmly congratulated by the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
"Congratulations, @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris," he said in a tweet. "Our two countries are close friends, partners, and allies. We share a relationship that's unique on the world stage. I'm really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both."
The Associated Press has called the tight races in Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona in Joe Biden's favour. Others are not so sure about Arizona. However, it was the win in Pennsylvania that finally made his lead unassailable.
Joe Biden was also ahead in Arizona, Nevada and just ahead in Georgia, a State that has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992. There will now be a recount in Georgia.
While it may seem academic now in relation to the Presidential election, the voting in Georgia may yet prove pivotal to the immediate future of the US. Right now, the consensus is that the Republican Party are almost certain to control the Senate, putting a brake on Joe Biden’s ability to carry through on policy commitments made during the course of the election. However, the recount in Georgia may confirm that in neither Senate race has any of the candidates reached the 50% of the vote required to be declared an outright winner.
If that happens, there will be a run-off for both seats – and were the Democrat candidates to ultimately prevail, then control of the Senate would pass into Democratic hands. It is a long-shot – but it would be pivotal.
And so there really is still much to play for – though not in the way that Donald Trump imagines. His only hope of staying in the White House, it seems, would be an attempted coup. But so powerful is the consensus across US media that Joe Biden is the winner, that the potential support for any crazed power grab seems far less than might have appeared the case just 24 hours ago.
That said, with a putative autocrat like Donald Trump, just about anything is possible.