… Biden takes office as US’ 46th president
… Promises to be president of all Americans
JOSEPH Robinette Biden Jr has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, at the 59th inaugural ceremony at the Capitol Hill yesterday.
Acknowledging the deep divisions and competing crises in the country and promising to address the coronavirus pandemic, the rise of political extremism, he vowed to marshal a spirit of national unity to guide the country through one of the most perilous chapters in American history.
“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.
“I know that speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know that 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 that racism, nativism, fear, demonisation, have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured,” Biden said.
The president vowed to defeat White supremacy and to restore the nation’s frayed alliances abroad. He made a direct appeal to Americans who did not vote for him, asking them to give him a chance.
“Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject a culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured,” Biden said.
“To all those who did not support us, … hear me out,” Biden said. “If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America.” But “hear me clearly,” . “disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you: I will be a president for all Americans.”
Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Roberts, delivered the oath of office to Biden, while vice president, Kamala Harris took the oath of office, administered to her by Supreme Court Associate, Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Biden, at 29, in 1972, became the sixth-youngest senator in U.S. history, took oath of office as the nation’s oldest president at 78. He has sought the US presidency twice before, in 1988 and 2008. He was Vice-President under Barack Obama administration from 2009 to 2017. Biden clinched the Democratic Presidential nomination in June 2020, soon named California senator, Kamala Harris, as running mate.
Kamala Harris made history as she was sworn into office as the 49th vice president of the U.S., the first woman to hold the office in the nation’s history as well as the first black and Indian American descent in that post. Kamala’s ascendency to the vice presidency came more than 50 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act that sought to enfranchise Black Americans.
The inaugural ceremony has in attendance former American presidents; George Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and their spouses. Donald Trump, immediate past president, was conspicuously missing at the event, while Mike Pence, his vice president, was at the ceremony.
Special performances by Lady Gaga, who led the United States national anthem, Jennifer Lopez, and poetry by Amanda Gorman added colour to the event.