Biden officially accepts Democratic nomination for president; promises peaceful world , Aug 21, 2020

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Biden officially accepts Democratic nomination for president; promises peaceful world , Aug 21, 2020

ISLAMABAD-  NEW york, Former US Vice President Joe Biden has promised to restore the "soul of America" and deliver the nation from "darkness" as he formally accepted the Democratic presidential nomination determined to oust President Donald Trump to lead the country out of the coronavirus pandemic, economic downturn and racial turmoil as well as towards a peaceful world.

Delivering the biggest speech of his 50-year long political career on the final night of the Democratic National Convention, Biden, 77, promised to develop a more inclusive America and said the country had to choose what kind of nation it wanted to be.

“If you trust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I’ll be an ally of the light, not the darkness. It’s time for us, for we the people, to come together,” he said, speaking from the convention center in Wilmington, Delaware

“Make no mistake, united we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America. We will choose hope over fear, facts over fiction, fairness over privilege,” he said.

His nearly 30-minute speech capped the four-day convention that was conducted in an unprecedented virtual format due to the pandemic.

Aside from a few glitches and timing hiccups, the Democrats managed to pull off a well-produced convention that set a high bar for Republicans next week. Democrats even managed to recreate some of the elements of pageantry that usually accompany the convention, setting off a fireworks display shortly after Biden concluded his acceptance speech.

A range of other Democratic party figures spoke, with former presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and billionaire media mogul Mike Bloomberg featured prominently.

Biden did not go into much detail about his foreign policy, but pledged to be "a president who will stand with our allies and friends."

"I will make it clear to our adversaries the days of cozying up to dictators are over...I will stand always for our values of human rights and dignity. And I will work in common purpose for a more secure, peaceful and prosperous world," he said.

The Republican Party, meanwhile, plans to formally nominate Trump, 74, and Vice President Mike Pence, 61, for a second four-year term at its national convention to start Monday. Trump will deliver his nomination acceptance speech from the White House next Thursday.

The presidential election is set for November 3.

In his passionate speech, Biden also went for the jugular, only referring to President Trump as the “current occupant of the White House” and accusing him of “cozying up to dictators” and “fanning the flames of hate and division.”

“He’ll wake up every day believing the job is all about him, never about you,” Biden said, showing a fervour and energy which he has lacked during his campaign.

Wrapping up, Biden joined his wife, Jill, who came on stage to congratulate him with running mate Senator Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff.

Wearing masks, the two couples walked outside to watch fireworks with dozens of supporters who had parked their cars in front of the convention center in a socially distanced political tailgate amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The speech drew praise from veteran commentators and news anchors.

CNN’s Jake Tapper said it was “one of the best, if not the best” that he’s seen Biden give in his career, while Fox News's Chris Wallace called the speech "enormously effective."

Brit Hume, also of Fox News, said: “All in all a good speech. Forcibly delivered and what I am sure will give him a boost."

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Biden spoke from the mostly empty Chase Center in Wilmington in front of about two dozen reporters. He stood at a lectern emblazoned with “D20” in front of 16 American flags.

The Democratic National Convention has featured testimony from Republicans who have turned against Trump, and in his speech, Biden appealed directly to those who do not share his political views.

“While I’ll be a Democratic candidate, I’ll be an American president,” Biden said. “I’ll work hard for those who support me, and just as hard as for those who didn’t support me. That’s the job of a president, to represent all of us, not just our base or our party.”

“America isn’t just a clashing interest of red states (Republicans in majority) and blue states (Democrats in majority),” he added. “We’re so much bigger than that. So much better than that.”

After Biden spoke, the convention feed cut to images of people celebrating in the streets in front of TVs streaming the speech. They waved American flags as fireworks went off.

For Biden, becoming the Democratic presidential nominee is the culmination of a decades-long political career that has taken him from the Senate to the White House, as vice president under former President Barack Obama.

“Thank you Mr President,” Biden said to Obama on Thursday night. “You were a great president, a president our children could and did look up to. No one is going to say that about the current occupant of the White House.”

Biden’s path to the Democratic nomination has also been defined by personal tragedy, namely the loss of his first wife and young daughter to a car crash in the early 1970s and then the death of his son Beau Biden, who died from brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46.

“I have some idea how it feels to lose someone you love,” Biden said on Thursday. “I know how mean and cruel and unfair life can be sometimes.”

The former vice president was unsparing in his criticism of Trump, saying the nation is at a crossroads.

“We can choose a path of becoming angrier, less hopeful and more divided, a path of shadow and suspicion, or we can choose a different path and together take this chance to heal, to reform and unite,” Biden said. “A path of hope and light.”

The Democratic nominee made Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic central to his pitch, saying that if elected he would do everything in his power to eradicate the disease.

Biden said the the health and economic tolls from the virus were made worse by Trump’s incompetent response.

“Judge this president on the facts,” Biden said. “Five million Americans infected by COVID-19. More than 170,000 Americans have died. By far the worst performance of any nation on earth… if he’s reelected, you know what will happen. Cases and deaths will remain far too high.”

The Trump campaign blasted back, accusing Biden of becoming a “pawn of the radical leftists” who would raise taxes, force a government takeover of health care, and kill energy jobs through excessive regulations.

“Joe Biden is a twice-failed candidate for president and is, without question, a far worse candidate the third time around,” said Tim Murtaugh, spokesman for the Trump campaign.

Biden prepared for his address Thursday with family, longtime advisers including chief strategist Mike Donilon, speechwriters Vinay Reddy and Carlyn Reichel, and even presidential historian Jon Meacham, who recently penned the book “The Soul of America” and also had a speaking role at the convention.

Biden was introduced by his children Ashley Biden and Hunter Biden, and a video of Beau Biden introducing his father at the 2012 Democratic convention.

The campaign also played a new video touting Biden’s past efforts to reach across the aisle and work with Republicans. The video told the story about how as vice president he worked with Republican lawmakers on an economic rescue package following the 2008 financial crisis.

Biden spent the day leading up to the convention at his home in Delaware with his grandchildren. In a convention video, Biden’s four granddaughters told the story about the family meeting that led to him launching his White House bid.

His acceptance speech comes one day after former President Obama, in an emotional address, warned voters about the dangers of a second Trump term.

"This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that's what it takes to win," Obama said.

In contrast, Obama, who awarded Biden the Medal of Freedom as president, tried to portray a sympathetic partner in the White House.

"Joe is a man who learned early on to treat every person he meets with respect and dignity, living by the words his parents taught him: No one's better than you, Joe, but you're better than nobody,” Obama said. “That empathy, that decency, the belief that everybody counts. That's who Joe is."

Biden is hoping for a bounce coming out of the convention, although some Democrats are skeptical he’ll get one due to the virtual format.