This will not be a normal swearing-in ceremony as Joe Biden takes oath as the 46th President of the United States tonight at 10.30 IST.
Apart from the pandemic which has upended the entire world of normalcy, nothing about this oath taking will be normal. The outgoing President continues to sulk and will not be there to hand over the baton. Also, the view for Biden from the podium of Capitol Hill will not be a pretty sight – instead of the people turning out in thousands, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, celebrating democracy, Biden will see more armed personnel, higher fences, masked faces and a thin crowd.
The siege of the Capitol Hill is a shame which the Republicans and Trump will have to live with forever. For the largest economy of the world and supposedly progressive, the blotch of the attack is something which will take years to forget; a coup is this modern world has shocked the world – almost like a grand finale to Trump’s four years of toxic leadership. Trump legitimized racism and extremism and that is probably the biggest task in front of Biden – uniting the country, looking beyond colour, race and religion.
Internationally, Biden has a bigger task – of establishing legitimacy and reposing faith back in the leadership and America. The high fences and troops that Biden will see from Capitol Hill tonight will be a reflection of USA’s relationship with UK, Europe and Asia. Biden will have to slowly chip at these fences – both inside and outside America.
The first 100-days of the US Presidency are very closely watched and that’s why major big bang policies, reforms are announced during this time. For Biden, it will be slow and more about undoing the damages done by Trump while taking America forward.
This is what Biden has chalked out for the first 100-days:
- $1.9 trillion Covid relief stimulus
- Immigration Bill – major reforms, which includes an eight-year path to citizenship
- Efforts to reunite families that the Trump administration separated at the border.
- Speed up vaccination - expand the use of a national-security mobilization law known as the Defense Production Act to boost manufacturing and supplies.
- Rolling back Trump's "Muslim ban"
- Reversing withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement
- No major moves with China, no rollback of tariffs
- Return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal
- Getting his Cabinet nominees confirmed
- Senate to take up the second impeachment trial of Trump
- Covid necessities – making it mandatory to wear masks on federal property and during interstate travel on airlines, trains and transit systems
- Extending restrictions on evictions and foreclosures.
Yes, the view from Capitol Hill as he takes his oath will not be pretty and most certainly not a cushy job, despite the perks!