At around 11:25 a.m. on November 7, 2020, after nearly 90 hours since polls first closed throughout the United States, media organizations declared Joe Biden the winner of the State of Pennsylvania. Thus, the Commonwealth’s 20 electoral votes were in his column, and Joe Biden attained the requisite 270 electors to become the 46th President of the United States.
President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. was first elected to the United States Senate 48 years ago, to the day. He won an election in which he was the underdog, facing a popular, incumbent Republican. He won his party’s nomination for Senate only because few felt comfortable in challenging Senator J. Caleb Boggs. Biden, aged 29, went on to win that race by under 2%.
Biden was, in an instant, a national figure. However, victory quickly turned into tragedy. In 1972, Senator-elect Biden lost his wife and daughter in a horrific automobile collision. Biden, convinced by giants of the Senate Ted Kennedy and Mike Mansfield, proceeded to take the oath of office aside the hospital beds of his sons.
36 years later, Biden was approached by a freshman senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, to be his running mate. That year, Biden was elected Vice President of United States, in which capacity he would be key in implementing the Recovery Act, Affordable Care Act, and many other pieces of legislation.
Once more, while atop the world, Biden faced tragedy. Beau Biden, a combat veteran, Attorney General of Delaware, and eldest son of Vice President Biden, passed away in October 2015 due to complications from cancer. The tragedy kept him out of the 2016 Presidential Election, but the damage Biden claimed was done by Donald Trump as President compelled him to run in 2020.
Biden’s campaign faced hardship, as well. He placed 4th in the Iowa Caucuses and 5th in the New Hampshire primary for the Democratic nomination. Yet, following the endorsement of Rep. Jim Clyburn, Biden went on to not only win the South Carolina Primary, but the Democratic nomination, and, ultimately, the Presidency itself.
Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris has led a similarly unique life. Born to immigrants, Harris was raised in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. She attended Howard University, a HBCU, and, in 2003, was elected San Francisco District Attorney. By 2010, she would be California Attorney General, presiding over the nation’s 2nd largest Department of Justice in a time of tumult, including the Great Recession and legalization of same-sex marriage. In 2016, Harris was elected by a wide margin to the United States Senate.
After her own presidential campaign, Harris was chosen by Mr. Biden to be his running mate in August 2020. Now having been elected, Kamala Harris will become the 49th Vice President of the United States. In such a position, she will be the first Black or Asian American to assume the office, and will be the first woman to serve as Vice President.
President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will address the nation tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST from Wilmington, Delaware, Biden’s hometown. They will assume office on January 20, 2021 at Noon EST.