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Joe Biden is now president-elect, and Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California is set to become the highest-ranking woman in the nation’s 244-year existence. In a victory speech on Saturday night, Biden called it “a time to heal in America” and said, “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify, who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States.”

Harris praised Biden as “a healer, a uniter, a tested and steady hand" and spoke of what her win represented, saying, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

Biden supporters came together to celebrate in cities throughout the country, while in state capitals from Phoenix to Austin, Trump supporters were gathering at protests over vote counts, planned before Biden’s victory was announced. Trump and his team have vowed to fight the results in court, and the president has baselessly called into question the integrity of legally cast votes since news organizations made their call.

Here’s what to know now

Biden appeals to Trump supporters: ‘Let’s give each other a chance'

2:25 a.m.
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While speaking to supporters in Wilmington, Del., for the first time as president-elect, Biden invoked Trump’s name one time during the speech, using the moment to offer his opponent’s supporters a political olive branch.

“All those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself,” he said, referring to his previous runs for the office.

“But now, let’s give each other a chance,” he said.

Biden has sought to be a foil to Trump’s divisive messaging, telling the audience Saturday that his administration would not be as alienating to those with different political beliefs.

“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric,” he said, “lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again, and to make progress.”

Biden has repeatedly said on the campaign trail that he was running as a Democratic candidate but would be “an American president.”

He echoed that sentiment again, talking about Trump supporters: “We have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They’re Americans.”

2:07 a.m.
Headshot of David Weigel
David Weigel: Biden began his first remarks as president-elect by peering into the crowd and singling out the Delaware politicians who’d come to see him. “Is that Ruth Ann?” he asked, spotting the state’s first Democratic governor, who was elected 20 years ago and served two terms. It was a reminder of just how much Biden had built one of the country’s most dominant Democratic parties, a business-friendly coalition of liberals that’s won every significant election here since 1996.
David Weigel, National reporter covering politics
2:02 a.m.
Headshot of Sean Sullivan
Sean Sullivan: Biden has been a man of few words over the past few months, delivering short speeches on the campaign trail. Tonight was no exception, with an address that clocked in around 15 minutes. For a politician long plagued by gaffe-prone tendencies, Biden has lately demonstrated an ability to stay on message during his brief public appearances.
Sean Sullivan, Reporter covering national politics

Harris wears ‘suffragette white’ pantsuit

1:58 a.m.
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For her historic remarks as the first woman elected vice president, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) wore white — an enduring symbol of the suffrage movement that won women the right to vote a century ago.

As soon as Harris walked onstage to “Work That” by Mary J. Blige, viewers immediately noticed her pearl-colored pantsuit paired with a glossy top and American flag lapel pin.

“White, once the color of women’s purity, now the color of female power,” tweeted New York Times investigative reporter Jodi Kantor.

Women have dressed in white before as an emblem of history: During President Trump’s State of the Union address last year, many of the female lawmakers wore white.

Saturday night, Harris spoke about being a first among women; a daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, she is now the highest-ranking woman in politics in the nation’s history.

“While I might be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last,” Harris said, “because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

1:55 a.m.
Headshot of Annie Linskey
Annie Linskey: Everything about this moment is designed to showcase Biden as presidential and the next leader of the country, while Trump declines to concede. In case anyone is missing the point, projected behind Biden are the words “President elect Joe Biden,” with Biden’s name in letters about a story high. The idea is to use optics to cement in the minds of Americans that he is the next president.
Annie Linskey, National reporter covering the White House.
1:54 a.m.
Headshot of Matt Viser
Matt Viser: Through Biden’s entire campaign, he has spoken about unity and healing divisions. And one of the most important lines of the night came as the president-elect attempted to speak directly to President Trump’s supporters. “I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself,” he said, a subtle reference to his two failed presidential bids. “But now, let’s give each other a chance.”
Matt Viser, National political reporter

Biden addresses nation for first time as president-elect

1:52 a.m.
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Biden addressed the country Saturday night for the first time as president-elect of the United States, after succeeding in his decades-long quest to win the White House.

Around 8:40 p.m., Biden jogged onto the stage outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del., and peered out onto the raucous parking lot, where people cheered, waved American flags and honked their car horns.

“Folks, the people of this nation have spoken. They’ve delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory, a victory for we, the people,” Biden said.

He spent a good portion of the beginning of his speech shouting out his family — especially his wife, Jill Biden. He also thanked local elected officials and volunteers who worked the polls in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

“You deserve a special thanks from the entire nation,” Biden said.

Biden was proud, he added, of the coalition he had built on the way to his win, one that included “Democrats, Republicans, independents, progressives, moderates, conservatives, young, old, urban, suburban, rural, gay, straight, transgender, White, Latino, Asian, Native American.” But he reserved his final and deepest thanks to the African American community who “especially in those moments when this campaign was at its lowest ebb . . . stood up again for me.”

Biden said he would govern as a president for all Americans and extended a hand to those who had supported Trump.

“I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself,” Biden said, nodding to his two previous failed presidential runs. “Now let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again. Listen to each other again. And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They’re Americans.”

Biden closed by saying he would announce on Monday a group of scientists and experts as transition advisers who would help him tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Without that, he said, the country could not repair the economy.

He also spoke about what he believed his administration’s mandate to be.

“America called upon us to marshal the forces of decency, 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,” Biden said. “The battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country, the battle to save our planet by getting climate under control, the battle to restore decency, defend democracy and give everybody in this country a fair shot.”

1:47 a.m.
Headshot of Sean Sullivan
Sean Sullivan: Biden started his address using words like “clear” and “convincing” to describe his win and mentioned the record number of votes he received. This was a notable move as Trump has yet to concede and continues to raise baseless concerns about the vote. Biden seemed determined to rebuke those false claims, if implicitly.
Sean Sullivan, Reporter covering national politics
1:38 a.m.
Headshot of Chelsea Janes
Chelsea Janes: Harris appeared to tear up when she mentioned her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who immigrated to the United States to attend the University of California at Berkeley and become a breast cancer researcher. Harris almost never displayed such emotion on the campaign trail, more easily moved to tears by laughter than joy or sadness. But she quotes her mother regularly and when asked what she thought when she voted for herself last week said simply “my mother.” Gopalan Harris died of cancer in 2009.
Chelsea Janes, National baseball writer

Harris addresses nation for first time as vice president-elect

1:34 a.m.
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Just before 8:30 p.m., Harris addressed the public for the first time as vice president-elect of the United States. Wearing a cream-colored suit and an American flag pin, Harris took the stage outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del., and paused to take in the roar of applause and honks that erupted.

Harris quoted civil rights leader and Georgia congressman John Lewis, saying democracy was an act that was only as strong as the people’s willingness to fight for it.

“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,” Harris told the crowd.

Many in the crowd could be seen openly sobbing as they cheered Harris, the first Black and Asian American woman vice president-elect.

“I know times have been challenging, especially the last several months. The grief, sorrow and pain, the worries and the struggles,” Harris said. “But we have 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 and you delivered a clear message. You chose hope and unity, decency, science and, yes, truth.”

Harris paid tribute to the women who had fought for equal rights and representation before her. She also teared up as she honored her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan: “When she came here from India at the age of 19, she maybe didn’t quite imagine this moment. But she believed so deeply and an America where a moment like this is possible,” she said.

She said she hoped her ascendancy to the office of the vice president would break barriers for other women.

Harris said she hoped to be a vice president to Biden in the same way he had been to President Barack Obama: “Loyal, honest and prepared, waking up every day thinking of you and your family.” What followed, she added, was going to be the hard, necessary and good work of rebuilding the economy, beating the coronavirus pandemic and to root out systemic racism.

Americans react to Kamala Harris’s historic victory

1:24 a.m.
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Rep. Barbara Lee began her political career on the presidential campaign of the first Black woman to run for president, Shirley Chisholm, serving as one of Chisholm’s delegates to the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

Nearly 50 years later, Lee (D-Calif.) watched as Kamala D. Harris name-dropped Chisholm at nearly every rally as a candidate for president and, later, the Democrats’ vice-presidential nominee. On Saturday, Lee celebrated as she learned that Harris is now the first woman elected vice president of the United States.

“I have been waiting and working for this moment. Shirley Chisholm paved the way for so many of us, including myself,” said Lee, who represents Harris’s hometown of Oakland. “She knew what the challenges were then in terms of racism, in terms of sexism. And also that we had to keep fighting, that this was a marathon, but sooner or later, the country would know what we knew about Black women.”

For many, Harris’s victory was as much a celebration of that marathon as it was of Harris herself — of those who came before as the one arriving now. Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, made such an acknowledgment at nearly every campaign stop she made.

Pa. attorney general says Supreme Court should not intervene with mail ballots

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The legal back-and-forth between Pennsylvania officials, Republicans and the U.S. Supreme Court over a small number of the state’s ballots continued Saturday.

On Friday, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. approved a request from the Pennsylvania GOP and ordered county boards to comply with state guidance and segregate mail ballots delivered after Election Day. On Saturday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) responded, telling the Supreme Court there is no need for additional intervention by the court following Alito’s order.

The jockeying in Pennsylvania is one part of a multipronged legal strategy from Trump and his Republican allies, who have pledged to continue fighting his election loss in courts across the country.

People gather and celebrate in Wilmington, Del., ahead of Biden speech

12:36 a.m.
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WILMINGTON, Del. — Thousands of Biden and Harris supporters flooded into the neighborhood around the Chase Center here starting Saturday morning, eager to show support for the president-elect and vice president-elect.

The unseasonably warm stretch of weather continued, and restaurants with outdoor seating quickly filled up. One Mexican restaurant started selling pitchers of “victory margaritas.” As cars and trucks poured onto a narrow road, waves of honking spontaneously erupted.

At times, the crowds erupted into song. One woman belted out tunes from the musical “Hamilton.” Others sang “America the Beautiful.” Some people were back for the second time, having come out Friday hoping for a celebration.

The music and festivities outside were so loud around 7 p.m. that the sounds could be heard deep inside a nearby hotel. The elaborate stage where Biden and Harris will accept their nomination was brilliantly lighted, as was a massive American flag that has been flying over the parking lot near the Chase Center for five days.

Thousands of people waved small U.S. flags and held up handmade Biden-Harris signs around 7 p.m. Most wore masks, but there was little social distancing outside the perimeter where the crowds had spontaneously gathered.

By 7:30 p.m., hundreds of cars filled in the parking lot at the Chase Center. Biden supporters wandered around chatting and munching on snacks.

“Who needs a flag?” one man asked, as he handed out small American flags.

Supporters were given blue light tubes that read: “Biden-Harris.” The campaign projected CNN and MSNBC live feeds on the side of the Westin hotel, and people occasionally cheered as the cable channels showed scenes of festivities from around the globe.

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.) gripped a “Biden-Harris” tote filled with champagne glasses and what appeared to be a bottle of champagne as he chatted with reporters. “You know how you always say, ‘It was the man for the season? Or the woman for the season?’ They were the only ticket for the season.”

He said he believed that none of the other contenders in the big Democratic primary field could have defeated Trump.

“As I look at the numbers and the race that Donald Trump ran, I don’t believe there was another combination that could have beat him,” he said.

Richmond, an early supporter of Biden who is believed to be heading for a big job at the White House, declined to speculate about whether he’ll join the Biden administration. Instead, he said he’s planning on spending Sunday with his son.

Celebrations erupt in streets of NYC, D.C., Philadelphia

12:06 a.m.
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Crowds erupted in celebration on Nov. 7, moments after President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris were projected to be winners. (The Washington Post)

Almost as soon as television networks called the presidential race Saturday morning for former vice president Joe Biden, his supporters began flocking to the streets. The celebrations that ensued — unbridled jubilation, dancing, singing and chanting — represented a release of emotions after an excruciating four-day wait for the election results, but also of a release of four years of pent-up frustration and anger at President Trump, some said.

The widespread sound of cheering, honking, pot-banging and more erupted in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, Minneapolis and other largely Democratic cities Trump has disparaged. Some rejoiced at the imminent departure of Trump from the White House, while others touted the historic ascendancy of Biden’s running mate, Kamala D. Harris, who will become the nation’s first Black and first Asian American woman vice president.

“No more years! No more years!” a crowd of hundreds chanted in Philadelphia.