President Biden's First Speech: 'Joy Cometh in the Morning'

Says No. 46 in inauguration speech: 'Our better angels have always prevailed'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2021 11:32 AM CST
President Biden Gives His First Speech
President Biden speaks during the 59th presidential inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

Standout lines from President Biden's inauguration speech, per CNBC and CNN:

  • "This is America's day. This is democracy's day. A day of history and hope."
  • "Today we celebrate not the triumph of a candidate but of a cause. The cause of democracy. ... This hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed."
  • "We come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries."
  • "We still have far to go. We'll press forward with speed and urgency. ... Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain."
  • A "once in a century virus ... has taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of WWII. Millions of jobs have been lost. ... A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer."
  • "The rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism, that we must confront and will defeat." It "requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in democracy: unity. Unity."
  • Referring to the Emancipation Proclamation: "When [Abraham Lincoln] put pen to paper, the president said, and I quote, 'If my name ever goes down in history, it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.' My whole soul is in it. Today on this January day, my whole soul is in this: bringing America together ... and I ask every American to join me in this cause."

  • "Our better angels have always prevailed ... enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward, and we can do this now. ... We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors. ... We can stop the shouting and lower the temperature."
  • "This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, we will not fail. ... So today, this time, in this place, let's start afresh, all of us. Begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another."
  • "Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path."
  • "We must reject the culture where facts are manipulated and even manufactured."
  • "Here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could stop the will of the people ... it did not happen, it will not happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever."
  • "For all those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you don't agree, so be it. ... Disagreement must not lead to disunion. I pledge this to you: I will be a president for all Americans, all Americans. I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as those who did."
  • "Many centuries ago, St. Augustine wrote that the people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love. What are the common objects we love that define us as Americans? I think we know ... the truth. The recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. ... Each of us has a duty and responsibility ... to defend the truth and defeat the lies."
  • "Look, I understand many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand that they're worried about their jobs ... can I keep my health care, can I pay my mortgage? I promise you I get it. ... We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue. ... We can do this if we open our soul instead of hardening our hearts."
  • "My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us we're going to need each other ... to persevere through this dark winter. ... We must finally face this pandemic as one nation. And I promise you this: As the Bible says, weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. We will get through this together, together."
  • "Here's my message to those beyond our borders ... we will repair our alliances and engage with the world again. ... not to meet yesterday's challenges, but today's and tomorrow's challenges ... and we'll lead by the power of our example."
  • "My first act as president, I'd like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer and remember all those we lost this year in the pandemic. ... We will honor them by becoming the people and the nation we know we can and should be."
  • "Folks, this is a time of testing. ... are we going to step up, all of us? It's time for boldness, because there's so much to do."
  • "I close today where I began, with a sacred oath, before God and all of you, I give you my word. I will always level with you. I will defend our Constitution, I will defend our democracy ... together we shall write an American story of hope, not fear; of unity, not division; of light, not darkness. ... May this be the story that guides us, the story that inspires us, and the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history ... Truth and justice did not die on our watch but thrived. ... With purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time."
(Read more President Biden stories.)

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