In an address in his home state of Delaware on January 19, President-elect Joseph R. Biden demonstrated one of the most important ways he differs from outgoing President Donald Trump. Speaking about the gratitude he feels toward the people of Delaware, and reflecting on the losses he has felt in his own life, Biden openly shed tears — proof, if any were needed, that he actually has a heart. What a welcome change that will be.
He showed the same kind of heartfelt sincerity a few hours later as he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris paid tribute at the Lincoln Memorial to the 400,000 Americans who have died as a result of the Covid pandemic. Remarkably, Donald Trump never once during his presidency acknowledged the full extent of Covid’s terrible toll, nor ever showed the slightest indication that he could actually feel the nation’s pain. Biden did it even before Day One.
It will take more than a big heart to meet the challenges confronting our incoming president. But that big heart, so evident throughout Biden’s long life of public service, will certainly play an important roll in how he conducts himself in the nation’s highest office.
I have just watched the inauguration ceremony and heard our new president’s inaugural address. In classic Biden style, he called passionately for national unity, peace and healing; and he invoked adherence to the truth as an indispensable foundation for national renewal and success. I for one sincerely hope the nation heeds his call.