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Biden takes helm as president, appeals for unity after Trump

WASHINGTON, DC — Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, declaring that “democracy has prevailed” and summoning American resilience and unity to confront the deeply divided nation’s historic confluence of crises.

Denouncing a national “uncivil war,” Biden took the oath Wednesday at a U.S. Capitol that had been battered by an insurrectionist siege just two weeks earlier. Then, taking his place in the White House Oval Office, he plunged into a stack of executive actions that began to undo the heart of his polarizing predecessor ’s agenda on matters from the deadly pandemic to climate change.

At the Capitol, with America’s tradition of peaceful transfers of power never appearing more fragile, the ceremony unfolded within a circle of security forces evocative of a war zone and devoid of crowds because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, Biden gazed out on a cold Washington morning dotted with snow flurries to see over 200,000 American flags planted on the National Mall to symbolize those who could not attend in person.

“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 declared in his speech. “This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve.”

History was made at his side, as Kamala Harris became the first woman to be vice president. The former U.S. senator from California is also the first Black person and the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency and the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in the U.S. government.

Biden never mentioned his predecessor, who defied tradition and left town ahead of the ceremony, but his speech was an implicit rebuke of Donald Trump. The new president denounced “lies told for power and for profit” and was blunt about the challenges ahead.

Central among them: the surging virus that has claimed more than 400,000 lives in the United States, as well as economic strains and a national reckoning over race.

“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. “Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged, or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now.”

Biden was eager to go big early, with an ambitious first 100 days including a push to speed up the distribution of Covid-19 vaccinations to anxious Americans and pass a $1.9 trillion economic relief package. It included a blitz of executive orders on matters that don’t require congressional approval — a mix of substantive and symbolic steps to unwind the Trump years. His actions included re-entry into the Paris Climate Accords and a mandate for wearing masks on federal property.

“There’s no time to start like today,” a masked Biden said. in the Oval Office. Then he swore in hundreds of aides — virtually — telling them, “You’re my possibilities.”

The absence of Biden’s predecessor from the inaugural ceremony underscored the national rift to be healed.

But a bipartisan trio of former presidents — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — were there to witness the transfer of power. Trump, awaiting his second impeachment trial, was at his Florida resort by the time the swearing-in took place.

Biden, in his third run for the presidency, staked his candidacy less on any distinctive political ideology than on galvanizing a broad coalition of voters around the notion that Trump posed an existential threat to American democracy. Four years after Trump’s “American Carnage” speech painted a dark portrait of national decay, Biden warned that the fabric of the nation’s democracy was tearing but could be repaired.

“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 are all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart,” Biden said. “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.”

Swearing the oath with his hand on a five-inch-thick Bible that has been in his family for 128 years, Biden came to office with a well of empathy and resolve born by personal tragedy as well as a depth of experience forged from more than four decades in Washington. At age 78, he is the oldest president inaugurated.

Both he, Harris and their spouses walked the last short part of the route to the White House after an abridged parade. Biden then strode into the Oval Office, a room he knew well as vice president, for the first time as commander in chief.

At the Capitol earlier, Biden, like all those in attendance, wore a face mask except when speaking. Tens of thousands of National Guard troops were on the streets to provide security precisely two weeks after a violent mob of Trump supporters, incited by the Republican president, stormed the building in an attempt to prevent the certification of Biden’s victory.

“Here we stand, just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people,” Biden said. “To stop the work of our democracy. To drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen. It will never happen. Not today, not tomorrow. Not ever. Not ever.”

The tense atmosphere evoked the 1861 inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, who was secretly transported to Washington to avoid assassins on the eve of the Civil War, or Franklin Roosevelt’s inaugural in 1945, when he opted for a small, secure ceremony at the White House in the waning months of World War II.

But Washington, all but deserted downtown and in its federal areas, was quiet. And calm also prevailed outside heavily fortified state Capitol buildings across nation after the FBI had warned of the possibility for armed demonstrations leading up to the inauguration.

The day began with a reach across the political aisle after four years of bitter partisan battles under Trump. At Biden’s invitation, congressional leaders from both parties bowed their heads in prayer in the socially distanced service a few blocks from the White House.

Biden was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts; Harris by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina member of the Supreme Court. Vice President Mike Pence, standing in for Trump, sat nearby as Lady Gaga, holding a golden microphone, sang the National Anthem accompanied by the U.S. Marine Corps band.

When Pence, in a last act of the outgoing administration, left the Capitol, he walked through a door with badly cracked glass from the riot two weeks ago. Later, Biden, Harris and their spouses were joined by the former presidents to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Ceremony.

By afternoon, a White House desolate in Trump’s waning days sprang back to life, with Biden staffers settling in and new Covid-19 safety measures, like plastic shields on desks, in place.

In the evening, in lieu of the traditional balls that welcome a new president to Washington, Biden and Harris appeared separately at the Lincoln Memorial to take part in a televised concert that also marked the return of A-list celebrities to the White House orbit after they largely eschewed Trump. Among those in the lineup: Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The Bidens ended their evening watching fireworks from a White House balcony.

This was not an inauguration for the crowds. But Americans in the capital city nonetheless brought their hopes to the moment.

“I feel so hopeful, so thankful,” said Karen Jennings Crooms, a D.C. resident who hoped to catch a glimpse of the presidential motorcade on Pennsylvania Avenue with her husband. “It makes us sad that this is where we are but hopeful that democracy will win out in the end. That’s what I’m focusing on.”

Trump was the first president in more than a century to skip the inauguration of his successor. After a brief farewell celebration at nearby Joint Base Andrews, he boarded Air Force One for the final time as president.

“I will always fight for you. I will be watching. I will be listening and I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better,” said Trump. He wished the incoming administration well but never mentioned Biden’s name.

Trump did adhere to one tradition and left a personal note for Biden in the Oval Office. Biden would only tell reporters that it was “a very generous letter.”

Trump, in his farewell video remarks, hinted at a political return, saying “we will be back in some form.” Without question, he will shadow Biden’s first days in office.

Trump’s second impeachment trial could start as early as this week. That will test the ability of the Senate, now coming under Democratic control, to balance impeachment proceedings with confirmation hearings and votes on Biden’s Cabinet choices.

Associated Press

ABC News

Comments

107 Comments

        1. I am an American, too and so what if Republicans have control of House and Senate. The President, the House, and the Senate will then move this Country forward toward greatness now that the Racist, Imbecile, Trump has been banished and Real Republicans can work with Democrats for the good of our country. God Bless America!!!

          1. You are an idiot trump did more for minorties then any moder day president. Stop watching fake news and pull your heat out of your ass

    1. No one is forcing you to live here. You are free to go anywhere you wish. I am sure you will regret leaving the Greatest Country in the world once you get to wherever you are going.

  1. What??? Trump “approves Deportation Protections for Venezuelans in US Illegally” before he leaves office?? Biden was going to do this Anyway, but Trump beat him to the Punch. Next is Immigration Reform for 11 million undocumented living in US!! A new day is here!!

  2. It is a sad day for our Constitutional Republic, that a fraudulent election has put in the Manchurian Candidate as president. Beijing Biden is corrupt and merely a pawn of the Chinese Communists.

    1. It is a shame that a grown man with any sense at all can be led to believe that we do not have a president who won the election fair and square. The Supreme Court, the Highest Law in the Land has agreed that Biden is our next president, and Chief Justice Roberts will swear Biden as OUR new president this morning. So settle down and face reality!!!

      1. Supreme Court did no such thing. They used the term standing. Go look it up. Not one court looked at evidence. Seen enough videos to prove cheating. He did not win fare and square

    2. There was no fraud. Tweets or Facebook posts are not evidence of fraud. Only idiots believe that. Evidence is submitted in court, not social media. Criticize Biden all you want and I’ll probably agree on most of it, but if you’re stupid enough to believe the big lie that there was fraud to the scale that would flip the electoral vote, then you are too stupid to take seriously.

  3. Mike is so gullible it is no wonder that scammers haven’t took all his money in the bank with false promises and Lies. Or has Trump already taken a good chunk of your hard earned savings??

    1. There was nothing left for Presidents Obama and Trump to take from us. That award goes to the biggest failure of America GWB and his side kick the Dishonorable Cheney.

    1. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

      1. Comrade turner, that is not your flag. You never did anything for it in your life. You just took advantage of what True Americans died for it. Your commie friends will turn on you too. You keep saying nazi to Republicans’ when in reality your senile president has already said this country will be a one party nation. Exactly what your idol Hitler said. Republicans will be the next Jews if we let your demoKKKrat party be successful. Unity your ass.

    1. Obscene gestures and name calling will not deter our new President from working for the betterment of all of us living in this great country of ours. Even yours, TOTM!!

      1. So the TRUMP name calling didn’t exist? ” impeach the mfker” sound familiar? You fking dems and libs are pathetic hypocrites! Jerk off Joe or clamydia Harris… NMP!!! Hey shit stain turner, I thought you were done posting? Biatch

        1. Yeah, well we Democrats didn’t start out insulting the Trumpster on Day One. It was not until he began insulting Mexicans as Rapists and Criminal, and promising a wall to keep them all out. And after he locked up innocent children and banned ethnics groups from Muslim countries that we Democrats began calling him all the names. Dude, at least wait until Biden locks up all the Terrorists that claimed Trump won before you start your name calling.

          1. even your dad mark turner admitted there were criminals crossing the border illegally, that includes rapist….. Trump didn’t call all of them rapist he could have tried to been more clear but it wasn’t a lie. If you didn’t protest when Obama caged up kids then stfu when Trump does it, the cages were already there. And tsarnaev and his brother came from a country Trump blocked, it is not xenophobia or racism or anything except truth. Quit looking through the lens of hate….illegal immigration is a huge problem and every president since Regan has done shite about it. Trump gave it a shot….. hell even Obama gave it a shot is a tough tough issue. Not as easy as shortening the process to only 30 days…. sounds like a bad infomercial

      2. That’s what your idol Hitler said and then shut down all opposition. You wouldn’t know cause you’re ignorant and didn’t go to school where true history was taught.

  4. It will be a sad day but we will stand….
    I do not like Joe Biden. I do not like Kamala Harris. But as of January 20, is Biden my president? Yes. Why? Because I am an American. I refuse to act like a child like the crying liberals who claimed Trump wasn’t their president for the last 4 years.
    Do I think Biden will be a good president? Nope. But do I wish for his failure? No. Why? Because I am an American and I don’t want to see America fail.
    Do I wish death upon Biden just because I don’t like him? Nope. Again, I’m not like the heartless liberals who prayed for Trump’s death for the last 4 years just because they didn’t like him.
    Do I think the left is using Biden as a pawn? Without a doubt. I guarantee he won’t be president long. Pelosi will claim he is unfit due to mental instability/dementia and invoke the 25th Amendment which will make Harris president, which was their goal all along, to have a female president. It’s the only plausible reason why Harris would agree to be his running mate when she claimed he was a racist and a rapist.
    Do I think the election was fair? No. But that won’t stop me from voting again because every vote should count, but I will be watching closely as should all Americans.
    Do I trust our government? Not a chance. I fear for the next 4 years. I fear for our economy. I fear for small business owners. I fear for our healthcare. I fear for our Bill of Rights. I fear for our Constitution. I fear for what’s to come after these next 4 years. I fear for what this country is turning into.
    But I hope and pray I am wrong, because I am an American patriot and I want America to succeed. I wish only the best for our country. May God help us all!!!! Please pray for our country for our people ‼️‼️

    1. Hey kidd, I’ll tell you the same thing I told TOTM. Trump was elected to serve All Americans but that was not the case. Right away he started acting like an Autocrat and siding with Angry White Racists. That’s when our American president became the president of the White disgruntled masses, and not the president of all of us. We Democrats hoped he would be a Fair and Decent president for all, but we were highly disappointed. That’s where the name calling came in, and it was WELL DESERVED!!

    2. Kidd, you are Delusional Sore Loser just like the rest of the Trump gullible. Imagine all the sick scenarios you want, but Biden is not going anywhere. May he pass while in office? Sure, no one is guaranteed to live as long as one wants. Then according to the Law the Vice President takes over the Presidency. But despite your claim to be a good American, you fool no one with your dark conspiracy theories. Your hypocracy can be smelled a mile away.

          1. You’ve been a sore loser for 4 years now uxcrement. So you should know by now you are scum.

  5. Last night, when Trump revoked his executive order that no one in his administration could become a lobbyist after leaving the White Hoose, Trump admitted he was part of the swamp. Outside of state funerals, I doubt we hear anything from him again. You Trumpsters got conned.

    1. Yea that was definitely a FU to his anti-swamp fans. He’ll demonize republicans on right wing media and try to do a Steve Bannon type ultra right party thing. But facts are facts and the fact is Red and Blue parties can’t be taken on at this point in time. They are just too controlled by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Trump knew that all along but thought he could fight it. No one can. Vanguard, Microsoft, Amazon and Google are 12 TRILLION in Market Cap and Assets. When Lehman took the economy down in 2008 they were only 600 Billion. Think about that and you’ll understand where we are.

  6. This is kidd talking out of the side of his mouth. “I am a Good American and wish the best for America, BUT…this election is a huge Conspiracy where the Democrats will get rid of Biden,install Harris as president, and thereby have the first Black Female president…but still..I am a good American.” Bullshit!! You are justifying the reason why Trump lost a Fair presidential election, and that is just sheer HYPOCRISY… “oh, but I am a good American.” You are pissing on my shoes and telling me it is raining.

  7. This was not a *sad day* for Americans. It was one of the greatest days in American History. The first Black female Vice president EVER, and the election of a FAIR AND DECENT man for the presidency. Sorry kidd, you can cry “Woe is Me” all you want, but we have a real president NOW, and not a crooked, morally bankrupt criminal for president.

    1. Proof is no longer required. You leftists sheep have proven over the last 4 years that facts and evidence aren’t required to accuse the President of wrong doing. You just need to say it. Now comes 4 years of constant attacks and accusations against illegitimate President Biden and its gonna be fun! The only difference is Biden has acrually done and will continue do whaTrump was accused of

      1. Keep pulling conspiracy theories and Lies from the Trump playbook, why don’t you. Trump is History now. He is totally irrelevant so start looking for another Idiot to take his place. How about Cruz or Hawley??

  8. Granny MAGAphone, of course you will criticize Biden for the next 4 years. Save your best for when he rejoins the Paris Climate Accords, passes Immigration Reforms, rolls back all the dumbass Trump executive actions, and vaccinated the first 100 million Americans against Covid19. You will be ranting and raving on your MAGAphone that Biden did it all because he is a Communist, a Socialist or a whatever pops up in your Delusional mind. Go ahead,but it won’t change anything. Biden will still be president and you will be just another Trump sheeple.

      1. Yes, he is that, that, and that too!! That’s why he is now IRRELEVANT. Trump has ALWAYS been a crooked, Racist, misogynist, even before dummies like you elected him president. Birds of a feather….

  9. What i don’t understand is wanting to bring back decency but treating the inauguration like it’s a movie awards but with much more security from the defund the police crowd. They are having live performances and putting it on prime time…..I don’t really watch inaugurations but when did they start doing this? I’m not watching it but I had read the “line-up”….. surprisingly no Cardi B…. who woulda thunk it?

    1. Yeah and for a bunch of Anti-America Marxists who supposedly don’t believe in walls as a form of protection against enemies they sure built a fortress to protect themselves from false allegations of domestic terrorism.

      1. False allegations of domestic terrorism…? Thousands of video hours of Trump Terrorists ransacking the Capitol and looking for Pence to hang him at FBI headquarters. Wait…? All that EVIDENCE IS FAKE. Darn Hollywood was actually making a movie, and all those foaming at the mouth modern day Huns were just Acting. Sure looked real to the Capitol Police who were beaten or killed.

        1. What does that have to do with Trump? Uniformed individuals like you keep saying Trump caused it when in reality the Capital seige started BEFORE Trump’s speech in which Trump was CLEARLY telling people to be peaceful and to go home. You don’t know that because you get all your info from Mark Turner and CNN.

          1. You’re not allowed to question the election but it’s perfectly fine to say Trump “incited insurrection” from his Twitter….. they’re like “you cannot jump to conclusions……except when”

      1. That’s what your idol Hitler did. Got rid of the Jews and all political parties that had opposition. What did we get? WWII and and almost lost ALL freedoms. Your demoKKKrat party at work uxcrement.

      2. Did Biden make a public appearance? I think he should have been more visible and showed he was unafraid and not rattled. Right now he looks scared…..not a good look Joe.

      3. And yes I didn’t watch it so if he was on the podium you got me. Even Bush took a cruise with the top down sporting a big smile on his face (after he got his brother to recount Florida). The president of the US needs to present a strong front…..I hope he changes his mood from continuing to fight Trump as he plays golf to real shine. He’s already bailing on student loan forgiveness,A HUGE THING that affects both sides. I don’t expect a articulate response but count how many times I insulted you in this post or called you a name. Now try to respond in kind

    1. Be careful uva. Look at what’s already happening. Biden does not care about America. His first Executive Orders ALL have an impact on everyone but America. Paris Accord helps China (of course. We all saw that one coming). Halting Keystone helps Russian oligarchs. Reversal of travel ban opens the door for terrorists. Halting border wall makes us vulnerable to our enemies. Not one EO to have struggling Americans or American businesses. First day in the job and he’s already selling us out.

      1. You are a clueless Idiot! Never in my life have I ever heard someone so full of Delusional Crap. Don’t work yourself into TIZZY, granny!! You still have 4 whole years of Biden to make up Cartoonish lies and conspiracy scripts copied from a rejected Hollywood Screenwriter. Egad!!!

          1. I have never met Turner, but if I ever do. I will thank him personally for calling out you and other assorted right Wing nuts.

          2. Thank him for supporting pedophiles and sex offenders? The man is sick. Mark Turner has numerous times said he would rather live next door to a child molester than a Trump supporter. That’s a sick, deranged person. I live down the street from a bat shit crazy liberal old hag cat lady who talks to herself and yells at the neighborhood kids and I’d rather live next to her than a child molester.

          1. He is merely reversing Trump’s Tantrums! And wait, he is not done yet,far from it. Hang on to your ragged maga hat. You are in for the Ride of Yor Life!!

          2. Right. In support of every country BUT America. Everything that he will overturn will hurt America to help our enemies.

    2. You are doing the right thing,cowboy. I also supported Trump when he became president even though I didn’t Vote for him. That sure didn’t last long after he turned into a one man Insult machine and a would be Emperor of his make believe Empire. He spent his days munching on Double Burgers and fries and watching Fox News. Later he dismissed his own Intelligence advisers and sided with the Autocrat Putin. So much for my Hopes of this idiot doing the job of a real American president.

        1. If you missed what I just told you happen, it may be because you were living in a hut in the middle of the Amazon jungle. Try to keep up with US and world events.

          1. why not use your words to at least present ONE FVCKING TIME he’s said anything blatantly racist. Not something I have to rewrite to make sound maybe, kinda, not really though ……actually not at all racist. No instead you shoot off at the mouth……weak son. Weak asf

  10. I bet they were disappointed with the ratings on this. What time was the inauguration? CNN is already upset that more people watch the live news on YouTube instead of their network. So much so that they want them deplatformed

        1. ???just what in the flipping hell are you foaming at the mouth for now? Settle down and enjoy your new President and Vice President.😂😂😂😂😂😂😂!

          1. Do you know what time the inauguration was? Did you happen to catch the ratings? Two simple questions that shouldn’t elicit a rant. And elicit means invoke or draw out.

  11. Wake up, NadaDave, and kidd Geritol the three Stooges so mad right now they wanna bite their own dicks off!! Maga would too, but she doesn’t have…a…well, you know what!!!

    1. You know the more I hear your insults I think you’re more of “trumper” than you know. You are clearly a misogynist, a lug, not politically correct (calling people retard), and dumb as all hell. You need a mirror son. If you are white then it’s just your guilt posting here, if you’re hispanic you’re confused about who you are.

      1. You didn’t get the memo from your handlers that you shouldn’t call people “fags” anymore is insensitive. I think you and the other guy are more “trumptard” than you think. The left I’m sure would not like you in real life

    1. yeah I don’t think they’re gonna be real quiet. Pretty sure you’re gonna see more Trump flags flying and if that triggers you…..its gonna be rough. Plus there gonna bring up FACTS…Biden already bailed on student loan forgiveness, isn’t giving out $2000 checks, isn’t letting all the migrants in (which I agree with), and let’s see just how better off us Africans do with this new admin. Think the murder rate in Chicago is gonna go down?

  12. You call this unity? Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohls and Wayfair have dropped My Pillow products for political reasons. Email them and let them know you will no longer be buying their products. (SHARE)

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