By Daphne Taylor
Special for South Florida Times
MIAMI – In a crazy, topsy turvy, racially tinged election cycle, former Vice-President Joe Biden did it. Despite some hairy moments of nervousness and uncertainty, and maybe even questions of doubt over the last few days, he pulled it off at the 11th hour and will be the 46th President of the United States of America. Victory was oh- so sweet, even if much-delayed.
The campaign road was long, and the Incumbent President Donald J. Trump didn’t go down easy. The polls all along showed Biden winning by great margins in recent weeks. But the polls were wrong. President Trump stunned the nation Tuesday by pulling out wins in a plethora of states – including Florida, and giving Democrats a hissy-fit. It was a stunner that Trump showed up so convincingly on Election Day. Very few people saw that coming.
But in the end, all that matters to the Democratic Party and the nation, is Biden is in and Trump is out. They pulled out all the stops to make that happen and can now breathe a sigh of relief.
Biden added vision to victory through his selection of Senator Kamala Harris as his Vice-Presidential pick. She now becomes the first Black and Asian American Vice-President in U.S. history. Though not boastful, she acknowledges great pride for her family, friends, community and the nation. But ever conscientious, she said she’s also proud for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) as well as the Greek fraternities and sororities. Harris went to Howard University, an HBCU, and she’s a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Recently while in Lake Worth campaigning for Biden at a drive-up rally at Palm Beach State College, scores of Greek organizations showed up in support, with decorated cars and wearing sorority and fraternity paraphernalia. She gave them a shout-out.
Biden’s former boss, President Barack Obama was also in South Florida- twice in just over a week, attempting to turn out the crucial vote for The Democratic Party. But this week’s election showed that things went terribly wrong. The Biden camp thought the American people cared about character, morals and empathy. But the closeness of the race showed that nearly half of voters didn’t care about that at all. Trump garnered tremendous support nationwide despite his disregard for Coronavirus as well as his often racial overtones. And in Florida, the Democratic Party failed to resonate with Miami-Dade’s vast Latin population, causing Biden to lose the Sunshine State. In the days and weeks to come, pundits say Democrats will have to assess what went wrong statewide and nationally.
But some gains were made on the state level. Longtime Congressman Alcee Hastings was reelected. Miami-Dade County got it’s first female mayor, in Daniella Levine Cava, also the first non- Hispanic mayor in Miami in 24 years, signaling a shift from Cuban American Republicans. And the LGBTQ community is lauding the selection of its first openly gay member of the Florida Senate. Shevrin Jones won his senate race and became the first openly LGBTQ person in Florida’s upper chamber. And in Broward County, Harold Pryor became the first black state attorney.
In another move, Floridians also voted to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, which would take place in increments over a period of years.
While in South Miami Monday night, former President Obama taunted one of Donald Trump’s famous claims. “He says he’s the best President for Black folks since Abe Lincoln. REALLY?” Obama quipped. “I can’t wait to see Joe Biden back in the White House!”