Media including Fox, AP, CNN, and the major networks have all called Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral votes, and Nevada, with its six electoral votes, in favor of Joe Biden. The call puts Biden at 290 electoral votes, more than the 270 votes he needed to become president-elect.
For now, the Biden camp is celebrating. But the word out of the White House is that Trump is not conceding and the legal effort to deny Biden the presidency will continue.
“The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor,” Trump said in a statement. “Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”
For his part, Biden’s prepared statement was subdued and modest. He will leave the gloating to his supporters.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris,” said Biden. “In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America.”
“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” he added.
He can start by apologizing for his own “harsh rhetoric.” Since that won’t happen, it’s doubtful anyone else will.
The road ahead for Biden will make a minefield look like a walk in the park.
But, the road ahead for the soon-to-be-78-year-old president-elect will be far from easy, as he must cope with titanic challenges never faced to this magnitude by an incoming commander in chief. To compound the enormous job ahead, Biden likely will have to deal with a Republican party that may be in no mood to compromise – and with a progressive base of his own party that will almost certainly try to push the incoming president to the left.
Like the two presidents who came before him, expect Biden to govern by executive order rather than by getting Congress to legislate as his wishes. But as my PJM colleague Tyler O’Neil points out, he can still do a lot of damage. He will no doubt have radicals in charge of the EPA and other federal agencies making life a living hell for American businesses. He will become China’s “yes man” and fritter away Trump’s accomplishments in the Middle East.
Biden can do plenty of damage in four years — almost as much as Obama did in eight. But this too shall pass. There will be another election for president in four years. And it’s never too early to start preparing the ground for the next battle.