AMERICAN president-elect Joe Biden has stepped up his preparations to assume office on January 20 next year despite President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede defeat in the recent presidential elections by appointing nine key White House aides.
On November 3, Americans went to the polls and in a keen presidential race between President Trump of the Republican Party and former vice president Joe Biden of the Democratic Party, the contest looked deadlocked. In about five states, the contest was too close to call but after about a week, Mr Biden was declared the winner after sweeping several battleground states.
Mr Biden’s victories in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin, gave him a total of 306 electoral college votes to President Trump’s 232. In the popular vote too, Mr Biden secured 78.76 votes to President Trump’s 73.1m votes given him a 51.9% share of the vote to the incumbent’s 48.1%.
Despite this clear victory, President Trump has refused to concede defeat, claiming the polls were marred by electoral fraud. He has filed numerous lawsuits challenging the validity of the elections and in some states like Georgia, the Republican party has asked for a recount because the vote was close.
Ignoring the usual protocol that involves the loser conceding defeat, President Trump has refused to acknowledge that he lost the elections and is refusing to cooperate with the Biden team on a smooth transition. Forging ahead despite this, Mr Biden made nine key appointments today following his appointing of Ron Klain, as his White House chief of staff last week.
Mr Biden said: “America faces great challenges and they bring diverse perspectives and a shared commitment to tackling these challenges and emerging on the other side a stronger, more united nation.”
His new appointees include his campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon, 44, who has being named deputy chief of staff. A veteran of seven presidential campaigns, Ms Dillon served as deputy campaign manager for Barack Obama’s successful 2012 re-election effort.
Campaign co-chair Cedric Richmond, a House Democrat from Louisiana, was named senior advisor to the president. Mr Richmond, 47, an African-American lawmaker, will leave his seat in Congress to take his White House job when Mr Biden is inaugurated on January 20.
In addition, Mr Biden also named Mike Donilon, a chief strategist for his campaign and a veteran Democratic tactician, to serve as senior advisor to the president. Other appointments include the chief of staff and senior advisor to incoming First Lady Jill Biden, a counsel to the president and a director of Oval Office operations.
Mr Klain added: “The team we have already started to assemble will enable us to meet the challenges facing our country on day one.”