Assuming Joe Biden becomes the nation's 46th president despite President Trump's efforts to challenge the outcome, his challenge won't be easy. Some early takes:
- "There can be no overstating the magnitude of the tasks facing Biden," writes David Remnick at the New Yorker. "He will begin his term facing a profoundly polarized country, one even more divided and tribal than the polls have suggested. It is a nation in which one half cannot quite comprehend the other half. He also confronts a country that is suffering from an ever-worsening pandemic, an ailing economy, racial injustice, and a climate crisis that millions refuse to acknowledge."
- The challenges aren't only domestic. "Relations with China are the worst since the countries normalized ties four decades ago," writes Rick Gladstone in the New York Times. "America's allies in Europe are alienated. The most important nuclear anti-proliferation treaty is about to expire with Russia. Iran is amassing enriched nuclear fuel again, and North Korea is brandishing its atomic arsenal. Not to mention global warming, refugees crises and looming famines in some of the poorest places on earth, all amplified by the pandemic."
- The AP circles back to the pandemic, predicting it will "consume" the early days of a Biden administration. Biden will surely "face significant political challenges in combating the worst public health crisis in a century," write Will Weissert and Alexandra Jaffe. "He will encounter the limits of federal powers when it comes to mask requirements and is sure to face resistance from Republicans who may buck additional spending."
- The "blue wave" Democrats hoped for in the House and Senate never materialized, meaning "yet another bout of deadlock in Washington, DC, is almost assured," predicts an editorial at the Economist. "Democratic voters' hunger to see the back of Mr Trump was matched by their rivals' to defend him," it reads. "This was an important Democratic win: Mr Trump's presidency will be over in two months. But it was not a game-changer in the partisan war that he, through his refusal to accept his defeat, now threatens to inflame in an unprecedented new way."
(Read more Joe Biden 2020