Biden and Harris named Time’s 2020 ‘Person of the Year’
Time magazine named President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris its “Person of the Year” in an announcement Thursday night.
The magazine’s write-up of the decision outlines Biden’s historic selection of Harris to be his running matw and the challenges that lie ahead for the United States and the duo as the coronavirus surges across the nation.
Harris, a former rival for the Democratic nomination, described the moment Biden asked her to be his running mate.
“Immediately he said, ‘So, you want to do this?’” Harris said. “That’s who Joe is. There’s no pomp and circumstance with him. He’s a straight shooter.”
Once she takes office, Harris will be the first African American, first woman and first South Asian American to serve as vice president.
“I will be the first, but I will not be the last,” Harris said, of the role she will assume. “That’s about legacy; that’s about creating a pathway; that’s about leaving the door more open than it was when you walked in.”
The president-elect defended his emphasis on unity and healing of political divides to the magazine even as President Trump has refused to concede the election to the former vice president.
— TIME (@TIME) December 10, 2020
“I was able to, against advice from a lot of people, do the things that I was told were gonna hurt me politically,” Biden told the magazine. “But I would argue that it turned out that that’s what the American people were looking for: they’re looking for some honesty, decency, respect, unity.”
Biden and Harris ran in one of the most contentious presidential races in American history, which saw a record number of voters turn out amid a pandemic that continues to rage across the country.
The former vice president won 51.3 percent of the popular vote, garnering 81.2 million votes over Trump’s 74.2 million votes, according to tallies from the Cook Political Report.
Biden remarked on the challenges that lay ahead of him and his administration next year, telling Time that the election against Trump was a “do-or-die” moment for the United States.
The profile noted Biden will take office amid racial tensions, inequality and a race to protect Americans from coronavirus.
The president-elect added that he has been reading about former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first 100 days in office when he helped pull America out of the Great Depression.
“We’re the only country in the world that has come out of every crisis stronger than we went into the crisis,” he said, according to the magazine. “I predict we will come out of this crisis stronger than when we went in.”
The announcement came after the magazine said it had narrowed its final selection down to four candidates: Biden and Harris, Anthony Fauci and front-line health care workers, Trump and the movement for racial justice.
Biden is the 10th president-elect to achieve the title, but his selection marks the first time a president-elect and vice president-elect have shared the cover together.
Former Presidents Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Gerald Ford are the only presidents never named “Person of the Year.”