Biden and Harris Acceptance Speeches

President-Elect Joe Biden and VP-Elect Kamala Harris
President-Elect Joe Biden
President-Elect Joe Biden

Joe Biden’s President-Elect Acceptance Speech

My fellow Americans, the people of this nation have spoken.

They have delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory.

A victory for “We the People.”

We have won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation—74 million.

I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me.

I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify.

Who doesn’t see red and blue states, but a United States.

And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people.

For that is what America is about: the people.

And that is what our administration will be about.

I sought this office to restore the soul of America.

To rebuild the backbone of the nation—the middle class.

To make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home.

It is the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for this vision.

And now the work of making this vision real is the task of our time.

As I said many times before, I’m Jill’s husband.

I would not be here without the love and tireless support of Jill, Hunter, Ashley, all of our grandchildren and their spouses, and all our family.

They are my heart.

Jill’s a mom—a military mom—and an educator.

She has dedicated her life to education, but teaching isn’t just what she does—it’s who she is. For America’s educators, this is a great day: You’re going to have one of your own in the White House, and Jill is going to make a great first lady.

And I will be honored to be serving with a fantastic vice president—Kamala Harris—who will make history as the first woman, first Black woman, first woman of South Asian descent, and first daughter of immigrants ever elected to national office in this country.

It’s long overdue, and we’re reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen. But once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.

Kamala, Doug—like it or not—you’re family. You’ve become honorary Bidens and there’s no way out.

To all those who volunteered, worked the polls in the middle of this pandemic, local election officials—you deserve a special thanks from this nation.

To my campaign team, and all the volunteers, to all those who gave so much of themselves to make this moment possible, I owe you everything.

And to all those who supported us: I am proud of the campaign we built and ran. I am proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse in history.

Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

Progressives, moderates and conservatives.

Young and old.

Urban, suburban and rural.

Gay, straight, transgender.

White. Latino. Asian. Native American.

And especially for those moments when this campaign was at its lowest—the African-American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I’ll have yours.

I said from the outset I wanted a campaign that represented America, and I think we did that. Now that’s what I want the administration to look like.

And to those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight.

I’ve lost a couple of elections myself.

But now, let’s give each other a chance.

It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric.

To lower the temperature.

To see each other again.

To listen to each other again.

To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans.

The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season—a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal.

This is the time to heal in America.

Now that the campaign is over—what is the people’s will? What is our mandate?

I believe it is this: Americans have called on us to marshal the forces of decency and the forces of fairness. To marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time.

The battle to control the virus.

The battle to build prosperity.

The battle to secure your family’s health care.

The battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country.

The battle to save the climate.

The battle to restore decency, defend democracy, and give everybody in this country a fair shot.

Our work begins with getting COVID under control.

We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life’s most precious moments—hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us—until we get this virus under control.

On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as Transition Advisors to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on January 20th, 2021.

That plan will be built on a bedrock of science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern.

I will spare no effort—or commitment—to turn this pandemic around.

I ran as a proud Democrat. I will now be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me—as those who did.

Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end—here and now.

The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control.

It’s a decision. It’s a choice we make.

And if we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate. And I believe that this is part of the mandate from the American people. They want us to cooperate.

That’s the choice I’ll make. And I call on the Congress—Democrats and Republicans alike—to make that choice with me.

The American story is about the slow, yet steady widening of opportunity.

Make no mistake: Too many dreams have been deferred for too long.

We must make the promise of the country real for everybody—no matter their race, their ethnicity, their faith, their identity, or their disability.

America has always been shaped by inflection points—by moments in time where we’ve made hard decisions about who we are and what we want to be.

Lincoln in 1860—coming to save the Union.

F.D.R. in 1932—promising a beleaguered country a New Deal.

J.F.K. in 1960—pledging a New Frontier.

And twelve years ago—when Barack Obama made history—and told us, “Yes, we can.”

We stand again at an inflection point.

We have the opportunity to defeat despair and to build a nation of prosperity and purpose.

We can do it. I know we can.

I’ve long talked about the battle for the soul of America.

We must restore the soul of America.

Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses.

It is time for our better angels to prevail.

Tonight, the whole world is watching America. I believe at our best America is a beacon for the globe.

And we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.

I’ve always believed we can define America in one word: possibilities.

That in America everyone should be given the opportunity to go as far as their dreams and God-given ability will take them.

You see, I believe in the possibility of this country.

We’re always looking ahead.

Ahead to an America that’s freer and more just.

Ahead to an America that creates jobs with dignity and respect.

Ahead to an America that cures disease—like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Ahead to an America that never leaves anyone behind.

Ahead to an America that never gives up, never gives in.

This is a great nation.

And we are a good people.

This is the United States of America.

And there has never been anything we haven’t been able to do when we’ve done it together.

In the last days of the campaign, I’ve been thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and to my family, particularly my deceased son Beau. It captures the faith that sustains me and which I believe sustains America.

And I hope it can provide some comfort and solace to the more than 230,000 families who have lost a loved one to this terrible virus this year. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. Hopefully this hymn gives you solace as well.

“And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,

Bear you on the breath of dawn,

Make you to shine like the sun,

And hold you in the palm of His Hand.”

And now, together—on eagle’s wings—we embark on the work that God and history have called upon us to do.

With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country—and a thirst for justice—let us be the nation that we know we can be.

A nation united.

A nation strengthened.

A nation healed.

The United States of America.

God bless you.

And may God protect our troops.

Kamala Harris/Photo Courtesy of AP Photo
Kamala Harris/Photo Courtesy of AP Photo

Kamala Harris’s Vice President-Elect Acceptance Speech

Good evening.

Congressman John Lewis, before his passing, wrote: “Democracy is not a state. It is an act.”

And what he meant was that America’s democracy is not guaranteed.

It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it, to guard it and never take it for granted.

And protecting our democracy takes struggle.

It takes sacrifice. There is joy in it and there is progress.

Because “We The People” have the power to build a better future.

And when our very democracy was on the ballot in this election, with the very soul of America at stake, and the world watching, you ushered in a new day for America.

To our campaign staff and volunteers, this extraordinary team—thank you for bringing more people than ever before into the democratic process and for making this victory possible.

To the poll workers and election officials across our country who have worked tirelessly to make sure every vote is counted—our nation owes you a debt of gratitude as you have protected the integrity of our democracy.

And to the American people who make up our beautiful country—thank you for turning out in record numbers to make your voices heard.

I know times have been challenging, especially the last several months.

The grief, sorrow, and pain. The worries and the struggles.

But we’ve also witnessed your courage, your resilience, and the generosity of your spirit.

For four years, you marched and organized for equality and justice, for our lives, and for our planet.

And then, you voted. You delivered a clear message.

You chose hope, unity, decency, science, and, yes, truth.

You chose Joe Biden as the next President of the United States of America.

Joe is a healer. A uniter. A tested and steady hand.

A person whose own experience of loss gives him a sense of purpose that will help us, as a nation, reclaim our own sense of purpose.

And a man with a big heart who loves with abandon.

It’s his love for Jill, who will be an incredible first lady.

It’s his love for Hunter, Ashley, his grandchildren, and the entire Biden family.

And while I first knew Joe as Vice President, I really got to know him as the father who loved Beau, my dear friend, who we remember here today.

To my husband Doug, our children Cole and Ella, my sister Maya, and our whole family—I love you all more than I can express.

We are so grateful to Joe and Jill for welcoming our family into theirs on this incredible journey.

And to the woman most responsible for my presence here today—my mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who is always in our hearts.

When she came here from India at the age of 19, maybe she didn’t quite imagine this moment.

But she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible.

So, I’m thinking about her and about the generations of women—Black Women.

Asian, White, Latina, and Native American women throughout our nation’s history who have paved the way for this moment tonight.

Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality, liberty, and justice for all, including the Black women, who are too often overlooked, but so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy.

All the women who worked to secure and protect the right to vote for over a century: 100 years ago with the 19th Amendment, 55 years ago with the Voting Rights Act, and now, in 2020, with a new generation of women in our country who cast their ballots and continued the fight for their fundamental right to vote and be heard.

Tonight, I reflect on their struggle, their determination and the strength of their vision—to see what can be unburdened by what has been—I stand on their shoulders.

And what a testament it is to Joe’s character that he had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exists in our country and select a woman as his vice president.

But while I may be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last.

Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.

And to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message:Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before.

And we will applaud you every step of the way.

To the American people:

No matter who you voted for, I will strive to be the vice president that Joe was to President Obama—loyal, honest, and prepared, waking up every day thinking of you and your families. Because now is when the real work begins.