Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were projected as the winners of the White House Saturday, and around the world, celebrities, politicians, athletes and millions of voters reacted Biden clinching the presidency after FOX News and the Associated Press projected that Biden would take the key battleground state of Pennsylvania.
Biden’s victory came after days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots. Biden crossed 270 Electoral College votes with a projected win in Pennsylvania.
Americans showed deep interest in the presidential race. A record 103 million voted early this year, many opting to avoid waiting in long lines at polling locations during a pandemic. With counting continuing in some states, Biden had already received more than 74 million votes — more than any presidential candidate before him.
Kamala Harris also made history as the first Black American and woman to become vice president-elect, an achievement that comes as the U.S. faces a reckoning on racial justice. The California senator, who is also the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency, will become the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in government, four years after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.
“This election is about so much more than @JoeBiden or me, Tweeted Harris. “It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started.”
She also posted a video of a phone call with Biden after news of the projected win broke. “We did it, Joe. You’re going to be the next president of the United States.”
Her husband, Doug Emhoff tweeted a photo of him hugging Harris writing “so proud of you.”
In a nod to Harris’ historic win, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who played a female vice president on HBO’s hit series “Veep,” wrote, “‘Madam Vice President’ is no longer a fictional character.”
Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan congratulated the new president-elect and urged unity, tweeting, “We have great challenges ahead of us as a country. Now more than ever, we need to come together as Americans.”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, congratulated Harris and Biden in a statement, writing, “I look forward to working with both of them as we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19, work to rebuild our economy, and save lives.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement declaring Biden and Harris’ victory “a new day of hope” for the country.
“Today marks the dawning of a new day of hope for America. A record-shattering 75 million Americans cast their ballots to elect Joe Biden President of the United States – a historic victory that has handed Democrats a mandate for action," the speaker wrote.
Khloe Kardashian and several other celebrities also chimed in.
“OMG I want to cry tears of joy!!!! Bravo!!!” she wrote.
LeBron James tweeted a photo of Biden’s head superimposed on James’ body dunking a basketball into a hoop.
There were scenes of celebration in some big cities across America, including New York. And a crowd thronged the recently christened “Black Lives Matter” plaza in Washington to cheer just a few blocks from the White House.
Katie Couric posted a video from the Upper West Side in New York City surrounded by people cheering the news.
Another video on social media showed people in Brooklyn cheering and celebrating Biden’s victory.
Hillary Clinton tweeted, “The voters have spoken, and they have chosen @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris to be our next president and vice president.”
“It's a history-making ticket, a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America,” she added.
Former President Bill Clinton also congratulated Biden and Harris, saying, “democracy has won.”
“Now we have a President-Elect and Vice President-Elect who will serve all of us and bring us all together. Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on your momentous victory!” he wrote.
Former President Barack Obama, under whom Biden served as vice president, congratulated the two candidates, expressing awe at the high voter turnout, saying, “Once very vote is counted, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris will have won a historic and decisive victory.”
Michelle Obama, former first lady, posted a long Twitter thread congratulating the new president-elect and vice president-elect, writing, “Thank you to all of you who poured every ounce of your hope and determination into this democracy over these past four years.”
Former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, who ran against Trump in 2016, wrote, “Now is the time to heal deep wounds.”
“Many are counting on you to lead the way,” Bush wrote.
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said he knows both Biden and Harris as people “of good will and admirable character.”
“We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders congratulated the voters and “all those who worked so hard to make this historic day possible.”
“Now, through our continued grassroots organizing, let us create a government that works for ALL and not the few,” he wrote.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau wrote, “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.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated Biden and highlighted Harris’ election as vice president as a “historic achievement.”
French President Emmanuel Macron wrote, "We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!"
Trump repeated his unsupported allegations of election fraud and illegal voting on Twitter early Saturday before the projected winner was announced. One of his tweets, quickly flagged as potentially misleading by Twitter, claimed: "I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!"
In a statement after the race was called for Biden, Trump wrote, “We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed.”
Biden, meanwhile, continued to call for unity across America and said he is honored to have been chosen to “lead our great country.”
“The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me,” he wrote.
“In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America. With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” Biden wrote in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this story. This story was reported from Los Angeles.