The distinction between Biden headquarters on Friday night time and Waiting for Godot is that Waiting for Godot had extra motion.
Everyone is ready for the plain to occur. We’re by the stage across the nook from the Wilmington Westin. Red, white, and blue Jeeps and vehicles—props—are nonetheless parked right here, remnants of the Tuesday-night victory celebration that by no means occurred. A large American flag is blowing within the wind. Exhausted reporters are drooping close to energy retailers, recharging their telephones. All day, the press corps has been saying out loud what the mathematics has now made sure, however the networks refuse to verify: Donald Trump has misplaced.
Superficially, no less than, we’re ready for the following president of the United States to offer his victory speech. But Joe Biden is ready to say the presidency till the networks name the race. Biden and his aides could be notably delighted if Fox News, the community most related to Trump and his supporters, would validate Biden’s win—and start the method of bringing the nation collectively. The strain on Fox is immense. So a lot in order that rumors are swirling that solely Fox can name the election—an concept that’s rankling the opposite networks. Fox, in the meantime, is making an attempt to handle its relationship with its core viewers, the one which has been complaining for days about being deserted by its most important information supply. It additionally has to remember its long-term enterprise pursuits, and no less than some folks within the Fox universe are frightened about holding on to no less than a shred of the journalistic credibility it has ceded over the previous 4 years.
[Read: Do you speak Fox?]
How lengthy may this take? It may be a couple extra hours. Or one other day. Every week of Tuesdays has already handed. The solar comes up, the solar goes down, and it nonetheless looks as if Tuesday. News reporting is meant to be in regards to the information, however it was clear 48 hours in the past how this was going to finish—via each vote dump, via each fever-dream conspiracy concept pinballing throughout Twitter, via each Trump-campaign press convention held by folks nobody would mistake for an efficient authorized group. And but we wait.
Masked supporters have been milling round within the space put aside for them for the reason that afternoon, carrying the Biden-Harris indicators they’ll maybe get to wave. Occasionally a Biden aide walks via the foyer. Reporters have all however given up making an attempt to get info out of them, not as a result of they’re reticient or recalcitrant however as a result of they do not know when this can finish both. One staffer informed me about spending at the moment making a journey to the grocery retailer, and then taking “a variety of walks.” Another mentioned the day concerned a future, adopted by two bins of hen tenders. Then they went again to sitting, scrolling on their telephones.
It’s not as if the Biden camp is sad. I bumped into one in every of its stalwarts, Chris Coons, the just-reelected Delaware senator, within the lodge driveway. “What I’m having fun with is that probably the most famously anti-science, anti-factual president of my lifetime is now being slowly taught arithmetic, and the inescapable penalties of arithmetic,” he mentioned, not trying to include his glee.
Biden by no means acquired the chance to ship a large victory speech when he gained the nomination within the pandemic spring. (*77*) by no means acquired a large conference speech with the cheering delegates and the balloon drop and the confetti—one thing he has looked for a lot of his grownup life. (*77*) needed to accept watching fireworks in a car parking zone with a masks on, holding his spouse’s hand. His aides are decided to offer him no less than one large, blissful speech. They wish to do it for a man who has spent 50 years dreaming of the presidency, and who saved that dream alive via tragedy after tragedy. They need a large speech as a result of they know that the street forward of them is tough. They’re making an attempt to study the teachings from the drawn-out counting in 2000, when Al Gore largely ceded the stage to the extra aggressive George W. Bush. And they wish to provide a distinction to Trump’s ranting from the White House, within the hopes of starting to stroll America again from the sting.
But Biden and his aides need the scene to be proper. They need him to ship his speech at night time, as a result of the stage they constructed was designed to be lit for nighttime tv. (A nonetheless photographer complained to me that his pictures are going to be terrible, as a result of the Biden group was involved solely with TV.) That may imply Biden will ship a speech later tonight. It may imply the nation should wait till after the solar goes down on Saturday.
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“Having to attend two or three or 4 days for the second when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris lastly stride out and say, ‘It is now a certainty, I’m the following president’ [and] ‘I’m the following vice chairman of the United States’ will completely be well worth the wait,” Coons informed me. “It’s been value 16 months of campaigning and working all around the nation. I’m satisfied that by succeeding on this election, he’ll actually have helped save the soul of our nation.” I requested Coons if he is prepared for it to occur now. “Mmm-hmm,” he mentioned.