Joe Biden accepted the Democratic presidential nomination with a vow to be a unifying “ally of the light” who would move an America in crisis past the chaos of President Donald Trump’s tenure.
“Here and now I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. l’ll be an ally of the light, not the darkness,” Biden said. “Make no mistake, united we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America.”
The coronavirus denied Democrats the typical celebration, complete with the customary balloon drop that both parties often use to fete their new nominees. Instead, Biden spoke to a largely empty arena near his Delaware home.
The convention leaned on a younger generation to help energize Biden’s sprawling coalition.
Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois senator who lost her legs in Iraq and is raising two young children, said Biden has “common decency.”
Cory Booker, only the ninth African American senator in U.S. history, said Biden believes in the dignity of all working Americans.
And Pete Buttigieg, the 38-year-old former South Bend, Indiana, mayor and a gay military veteran, noted that Biden came out in favor of same-sex marriage as vice president even before President Barack Obama.
Biden’s positive focus Thursday night marked a break from the dire warnings offered by Obama and others the night before. The 44th president of the United States warned that American democracy itself could falter if Trump is reelected, while Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, the 55-year-old California senator and daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, warned that Americans’ lives and livelihoods were at risk.
Biden’s Democratic Party has sought this week to put forward a cohesive vision of values and policy priorities, highlighting efforts to combat climate change, tighten gun laws and embrace a humane immigration policy. They have drawn a sharp contrast with Trump’s policies and personality, portraying him as cruel, self-centered and woefully unprepared to manage virtually any of the nation’s mounting crises and policy challenges.