Biden becomes 46th president: ‘This is America’s day’

“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day in history and hope, of renewal and resolve,” he said.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, declaring that “democracy has prevailed” as he took the helm of a deeply divided nation.

“The will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded. We’ve learned again that democracy is precious and democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed,” Biden said.

“This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day in history and hope, of renewal and resolve,” he said.

Biden talked about the challenges ahead, including the pandemic. He looked out over a capital city dotted with empty storefronts that attest to the pandemic’s deep economic toll and where summer protests laid bare the nation’s renewed attention to claims of racial injustice.

“We have much to do in this winter of peril, and significant possibilities: much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build and much to gain,” Biden said.

His predecessor’s absence underscored the country’s division. Donald Trump departed Washington on Wednesday morning ahead of the inauguration rather than accompany his successor to the Capitol. He instead flew to Florida after promising to return and saying “it’s not a long term goodbye.”

Trump has contested the vote, saying the election was stolen. His attorneys filed over 50 lawsuits challenging President Biden’s victories. U.S. courts rejected those efforts.

Biden said, “I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we all are created equal and the harsh, ugly reality of racism, nativism, fear, demonization that have long torn us apart.”

“This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward and we must meet this moment as the United States of America,” Biden said.

Biden won about 12.8 million more votes than Barack Obama won in 2016 despite an uninspiring campaign, in which he spent a good part of it in his basement. Few attended his rallies. Trump nicknamed him “sleepy Joe.” The media generally ignored the more worrying signs of early dementia as Biden gave indications that his mind was going and he might not be up to the job.

In October, he appeared to confuse Trump with George W. Bush.

Biden has repeatedly denied there’s anything wrong with him and refuted suggestions he isn’t up for the job of president. At age 78, he is the oldest president inaugurated.