By Jorge Fuentelsaz
New York, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- The president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden, and his running mate Kamala Harris have been named as the Person of the Year by the Time magazine, which said that the selection was not just for the past year “but about where we’re headed.”
Time’s Chief Editor Edward Felsenthal justified the selection in which the magazine – which has often chosen US presidents for the distinction – also included the vice-president-elect for the first time.
“This will be the test of the next four years: Americans who have not been this divided in more than a century elected two leaders who have bet their success on finding common ground,” Felsenthal said in the cover story.
The editor was referring to the victory speech of the two leaders on Nov 7, in which Biden presented himself as a conciliatory leader seeking to end political polarization in the country and said that “this is a time to heal in America.”
In its eulogy to Biden and Harris, Time compared their electoral victory against incumbent Donald Trump to the Greek myth of the Minotaur killed by Theseus.
“Defeating the Minotaur was one thing; finding the way out of the labyrinth is another,” said the magazine.
It listed some of the major challenges facing the upcoming administration: the pandemic, the setback to education caused by school shutdowns, the Covid-19 related economic crisis, and the sharp division along party lines.”
Time correspondent Charlotte Alter said that Biden and Harris had offered a message of unity and healing at a time when the country was more sick and divided than any other era of its history.
“Together, they offered restoration and renewal in a single ticket. And America bought what they were selling,” she wrote.
Biden told Time that while announcing his candidature, he was clear that it was to unify Americans.
“I got widely criticized for saying that we had to not greet Trump with a clenched fist but with more of an open hand. That we were not going to respond to hate with hate,” he said.
According to the magazine, Biden believed most voters wanted reconciliation after four tumultuous years of the Trump administration, “that they craved decency, dignity, experience and competence.”
The publication highlighted that the Democrat was the first to choose a woman, Harris, as his running mate, having been impressed by her charisma and “touch questioning” of Trump administration officials.
The article also stressed the importance of the origins of the next vice-president.
She is the daughter of a Jamaican father and Indian mother, and her distinguished tenure as the attorney general of California, which was followed by a Senate seat in 2016.
“Biden and Harris share a faith that empathetic governance can restore the solidarity we have lost,” said the magazine in a presentation filled with praise for the Democrat leaders and full of hope that the US would leave behind the difficult years of the Trump presidency. EFE-EPA