Biden secures Democratic presidential nomination to challenge Trump
Washington: Joe Biden has officially been nominated the Democratic presidential candidate at the party’s unprecedented virtual convention to challenge Republican incumbent President Donald Trump in the November 3 election.
Biden, 77, who served as vice president of the US for eight years from January 2009 to January 2017, would deliver his acceptance speech on Thursday.
“It is the honour of my life to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States of America,” Biden, who served as Senator from Delaware, said in a tweet.
“We have shown that the heart of this nation still beats with kindness and courage,” said his wife Jill Biden said.
“We just need leadership worthy of our nation – worthy of you,” she said in her speech from inside the classroom of the Brandywine High School, in Delaware where she once taught English in the 1990s.
Democratic Party delegates from across the country nominated him in the unprecedented virtual convention on Tuesday due to the raging coronavirus pandemic in the country that has killed over 170,00 people.
Biden clinched the nomination following a virtual “roll call” featuring party luminaries from all 50 states and lesser-known Democrats who described Biden as ready to lead the nation through the twin crises of a pandemic and economic uncertainty.
Biden, who played an important role in the Congressional passage of India-US civil nuclear deal and was a key player in strengthening bilateral ties with India during the eight years of Obama administration, has scripted history by nominating Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate.
“After a spectacular roll call that showed the heart and soul of our nation, it’s official. Congratulations, Joe Biden,” Harris said in a tweet.
Harris, 55, is scheduled to deliver her remarks on Wednesday night.
Biden is leading over Trump by 7.7 points nationally, according to the average of polls by Real Clear Politics.
This is a few points drop from his previous lead of 10.2 points he held in June.
Trump, 74, would be formally nominated by the Republican Party as its presidential candidate at its virtual convention next week.
Two Democratic former US presidents, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican, endorsed Biden.
Clinton told the virtual convention that Biden helped bring the United States back from a recession before, and he can do it again.
“Joe is committed to building America back again,” he said.
“Donald Trump says we’re leading the world,” Clinton said in his five-minute message pre-recorded from his home in Chappaqua, New York.
“Well, we are the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple.
“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command centre. Instead, it’s a storm centre. There’s only chaos,” he said.
Carter said that Biden is the right person for this moment in America’s history.
“He understands that and understands dignity are essential traits that determine not only our vision but our actions. That’s what we need,” he said.
Powell said that Biden will be a president they will all be proud to salute.
“With Joe Biden in the White House, you will never doubt that he will stand with our friends and stand up to our adversaries—never the other way around. He will trust our diplomats and our intelligence community, not the flattery of dictators and despots,” he said.
“He will make it his job to know when anyone dares to threaten us. He will stand up to our adversaries with strength and experience. They will know he means business,” he added.
A policy document released by his campaign over the weekend said that as Senator, as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and as Vice President, Biden has supported Indian-Americans and a strong friendship between India and the United States.
“Diverse and vibrant communities of Indian Americans enrich the fabric of our nation in every state of the union. As President, Biden will work in partnership with these communities; celebrate their extraordinary contributions to America’s success, prosperity, and safety; listen to Indian Americans’ needs and put in place policies that address their priorities,” it said.
Indian-Americans, like all Americans, are deeply invested in the core elements of our future — education, access to high-quality, affordable health care, addressing the climate crisis, and reforming and modernizing our immigration system in a way that aligns with American values.
“Biden will ensure that South Asian Americans are represented in his administration, starting with his Vice Presidential nominee, Senator Kamala Harris, whose mother emigrated from India to study and build a life in the United States. Our government will reflect the diversity of the United States, and Indian American voices will be included in shaping the policies that impact their communities,” his campaign said.