President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the US presidential race was greeted by a wave of global congratulations, and celebrations closer to home on Saturday.
In the hours after the race was called by several news outlets, world leaders sent out tweets of support, with many allies promising to work closely with the next president.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for instance, called the US and Canada “close friends, partners, and allies” with a “relationship that’s unique on the world stage,” and said, “I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both.”
Congratulations, @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. Our two countries are close friends, partners, and allies. We share a relationship that’s unique on the world stage. I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 7, 2020
One of President Trump’s closest European friends, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, also sent out congratulations to Biden and Harris, noting he hoped to collaborate on climate change — an area Trump has clashed with his European counterparts on — as well as trade, a pressing issue for a United Kingdom set to soon finalize its exit from the European Union.
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who often disagreed with Trump on issues like US support for NATO, also chimed in with congratulations.
The congratulations are notable in that they came shortly after Trump announced he does not plan to concede, meaning these messages can be seen not just as congratulations, but as the US’s key allies quickly vocalizing their support for the president-elect’s legitimacy. After media outlets called the election for Biden, Trump was defiant, spreading false conspiracy theories and lies about the vote count, as well as promising legal action attempting to overturn the election.
Merkel and Trump in particular had frequent battles over the last four years, with Trump reportedly telling her she was “stupid.” And Trump’s relationship with many European leaders hasn’t been helped by his tendency to cozy up to far-right leaders in Poland and Hungary. Many have also been cheered by Biden’s promise to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, which the US officially pulled out of just this week under Trump’s direction.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo touched on that agreement in a tweet. “Welcome back America!” she wrote Saturday.
Welcome back America! Congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris for their election! While we are about to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement, this victory symbolizes our need to act together more than ever, in view of climate emergency. #Election2020— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) November 7, 2020
Ironically, one of the first international leaders to show support for Biden’s win was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — Trump’s attempts to coerce the Ukrainian president into investigating Biden played a central role in the saga of Trump’s impeachment last December.
Congratulations to @JoeBiden @KamalaHarris! #Ukraine is optimistic about the future of the strategic partnership with the #UnitedStates. and have always collaborated on security, trade, investment, democracy, fight against corruption. Our friendship becomes only stronger!— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) November 7, 2020
A number of other leaders outside of Europe also offered their well-wishes, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who developed a relatively close relationship with Trump. Modi also acknowledged the momentousness of Harris’s historic vice presidential win — she will be the first woman, Black American, and Asian American to fill that role — and highlighted her Indian heritage.
Congratulations @JoeBiden on your spectacular victory! As the VP, your contribution to strengthening Indo-US relations was critical and invaluable. I look forward to working closely together once again to take India-US relations to greater heights. pic.twitter.com/yAOCEcs9bN— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 7, 2020
Heartiest congratulations @KamalaHarris! Your success is pathbreaking, and a matter of immense pride not just for your chittis, but also for all Indian-Americans. I am confident that the vibrant India-US ties will get even stronger with your support and leadership.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 7, 2020
South Korean president Moon Jae-in also tweeted congrats for Biden and Harris.
Celebrations erupted back home in US cities
Closer to home, large crowds gathered in many major US cities, including in Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York, and the area surrounding the White House in Washington, DC, to celebrate Biden’s win.
Biden had an overwhelming amount of support from across the country, breaking all voting records, as Vox’s Anna North has explained:
With more than 75 million votes so far, Biden broke the record previously set by President Barack Obama, who received about 69.5 million votes to win in 2008. The 75 million number puts Biden at more than 50 percent of the popular vote, with President Trump taking 48 percent. Trump has now also broken Obama’s record, having passed the 70 million mark.
The 2020 election is on pace for a record turnout, with at least 159.8 million Americans voting, according to NBC. That’s the highest turnout rate among eligible voters since 1900
And that was reflected throughout the US.
In Philadelphia, a woman told CNN, “I’m so happy. I don’t know what to do.”
In Washington, DC, a crowd gathered near the White House praised the work of Georgia activists for Biden’s win, at one point chanting out the name of voting rights activist and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
“This is a day I’ve been waiting for for four years,” 73-year-old Carla Yates Bremer told the Washington Post.
And in New York City, actor Alan Mingo told the Guardian, “Seeing this euphoria, this jubilation, it’s incredible.”