Yesterday Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. But as the storming of the Capitol on January 6 by supporters of Donald Trump showed, those 50 states are far from united.
Biden inherits a battered country that needs putting back together. Its political tribes need to find common cause. Its people need vaccines. Its economy needs triage. Sure, Biden beat Donald Trump by more than six million votes. But more people voted for Trump in November than they did four years ago. No Republican candidate in history has received as many votes as Trump did. Even Biden’s own party is not united – progressives are lining up against centrists.
Is the 78-year-old Biden up to the job? Can he make Trump’s furious and alienated supporters feel that he is their president too? Can he match Trump’s success in boosting the economy at the same time as reversing Trump’s deregulation? Can he help end racial injustice? And while he faces all of these challenges, how will he cope with the threat of a Trump re-election bid in 2024?