News analysis

Biden shows his mettle at inauguration

Occasion restores order, ritual of democratic process and faith in nation's founding ideals

Fireworks seen above the White House following the presidential inauguration on Wednesday. At least for a majority of Americans who voted for President Joe Biden, hope was restored as he took over the wheel. PHOTO: REUTERS US President Joe Biden and
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden watching the fireworks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House with other family members on Wednesday. President Biden's forthright 21-minute inaugural speech at the Capitol - stressing unity, tolerance and humility, and acknowledging the challenges ahead - drew praise from across the political spectrum.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Fireworks seen above the White House following the presidential inauguration on Wednesday. At least for a majority of Americans who voted for President Joe Biden, hope was restored as he took over the wheel. PHOTO: REUTERS US President Joe Biden and
Fireworks seen above the White House following the presidential inauguration on Wednesday. At least for a majority of Americans who voted for President Joe Biden, hope was restored as he took over the wheel. PHOTO: REUTERS

Joe Biden has certainly risen to the occasion. The 78-year-old statesman, seasoned by his many years as senator and vice-president although prone to gaffes, had just a couple of years ago seemed destined for a dignified retirement. But on Wednesday his mettle was on full display.

President Biden's forthright 21-minute inaugural speech at the Capitol, stressing unity, tolerance and humility, drew praise from across the political spectrum.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2021, with the headline 'Biden shows his mettle at inauguration'. Subscribe