Biden Transition Team Hits the Ground Running

Good evening, there are 72 days left until the Inauguration.

The Topline

On Saturday night, President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris took the stage and celebrated their victory. On Sunday the Biden transition website went live, along with the accompanying social media channels. The Biden Transition has laid out its four top priorities: COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change. This morning the Biden Transition Team announced the creation of a Coronavirus Advisory Board

The President-Elect also held a COVID-19 briefing this afternoon.

The message is clear: Joe Biden is the next President of the United States. Whatever tantrums Donald Trump might throw, whatever theatrics Team Trump attempts, are irrelevant. 

Most of America has embraced this reality. Traditional media coverage of this weekend’s events mentioned Trump’s delusions, but also (FINALLY!) took care to emphasize that they were in fact delusions. Facebook and Twitter continue to label content with disinformation related to the election and at this point, nearlyeverything Trump tweets has a warning label included. Those of us who don’t live in the MAGA Cinematic Universe know that Biden won, and come January he’ll take the oath of office.

At this point, Donald Trump, who also clearly doesn’t live in reality, has no options. His campaign will attempt more lawsuits but it is now 0-10 in post-election court cases. Trump will apparently do more rallies, because why not, and continue to tell his base that the election is being stolen from him. Trump can rile his folks up all he wants but that won’t change anything. Trump’s team can continue to feed Trump’s delusion but at some point, they’ll all have to accept that this election is over and start making plans to vacate the White House.

No matter the stage of grief Trump is in, don’t expect the President, anyone on his White House staff, or any political appointee to lift a finger to help the Biden transition team out. None of them were ever in it to serve their country. As Mother Jones Editor-In-Chief Clara Jeffries put it: “We are now entering the trash-out phase of the Trump presidency”

Already a Trump appointee refuses to hand transition resources including “millions of dollars, … access to government officials, office space in agencies and equipment authorized for the taxpayer-funded transition teams of the winner” over to Joe Biden. The appointee has made clear she has no plans to do so because “an ascertainment has not yet been made” about who won the election.

Team Biden has undoubtedly prepared for this and has plans to proceed with or without Trump’s cooperation. I assume they have contingency plans for every scenario — from no one in Trumpworld lifting a finger to help, all the way to Trump and his allies doing everything they can to sabotage the Biden Administration on their way out the door. Donald Trump might be able to hobble a Biden Administration somewhat but he can’t stop the inevitable. 

Meanwhile, I trust that the Biden Transition team and eventual Administration has a deep enough bench of experience to overcome this ridiculous obstacle. Expect Team Biden to continue to ignore the silliness, and focus on creating a stable transition and new Administration.

Driving the Conversation 

In September 2019, Stacey Abrams’ newly-formed voting rights organization, Fair Fight Action, published a memo to “Interested Parties,” outlining a Democratic path to victory in 2020 running through the Peach State.

“When analyzing next year’s political landscape and electoral opportunities,” Abrams wrote, “any less than full investment in Georgia would amount to strategic malpractice … I take a broad view on 2020, knowing that Georgia is part of a national change.”

Joe Biden — a former two-term vice president under Barack Obama and 36-year Senate veteran — will be the 46th president of the United States. His running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, will become the first woman, first African American, and first Indian American to serve as vice president.

The Democratic nominee is the projected winner in enough states to win 270 electoral votes. The state of Pennsylvania, which Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, was called by our partners at Decision Desk for Biden just before 9 am ET on November 6, clinching the electoral win in a tightly contested vote that drew historic turnout. On November 7, other decision desks, including those at the Associated Press and many television networks, followed. (For more on how Decision Desk and other outlets call elections, read our explainer here.)

President-elect Joe Biden faces the very real possibility of taking office with a Senate controlled by Republicans, ready to block him at every turn. Progressive activists say they have a simple solution, at least when it comes to installing his top officials: Just go around Congress.

Trump has promised legal action in the coming days as he refused to concede his loss to Biden, making an aggressive pitch for donors to help finance any court fight. Trump and his campaign have leveled accusations of large-scale voter fraud in Pennsylvania and other states that broke for Biden, so far without proof.

But proof isn’t really the point, said the people. The AP spoke with 10 Trump senior officials, campaign aides and allies who were not authorized to discuss the subject publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Your Moment of Inspiration

Thanks for reading all the way to the end. In lieu of a cute animal video or gif, tonight I’ve got a little bit of inspiration. This is how RTÉ, Ireland’s national TV, and radio broadcaster, ended their Saturday evening newscast. President-election Joe Biden, reading a poem by Seamus Heaney. 

Take care and we’ll see you again on Wednesday.

American Interregnum is a pop-up newsletter covering the Presidential transition period from November 3rd, 2020 to January 21st, 2021. It is written and edited by Justin Hendrix, Greg Greene, and Melissa Ryan. Got questions or comments? We love your feedback. Reply directly to this email. We read all responses and respond to most.