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Joe Biden Finds His Voice in a Powerful Speech on George Floyd and Systemic Racism

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As for Trump, who, in yet another shocking move by this president, had peaceful protesters cleared from the front of the White House with tear gas so he could snap an empty photo op at St. John’s Church yesterday, Biden quipped of the Bible held awkwardly in Trump’s hands: “I just wished he opened it once a while.”

“When peaceful protestors are dispersed by the order of the president from the doorstep of the people’s house, the White House, using tear gas and flash grenades in order to stage a photo op at a noble church, we can be forgiven for believing that the president is more interested in power than in principle,” Biden said.

The speech quickly won praise on Twitter as a sign of “the Joe Biden we’ve been waiting for,” as Rolling Stone put it. “Our next president needs to be a healer who can unite our nation around the ideals of justice,” Biden’s former primary opponent Corey Booker tweeted. “JoeBiden is that leader.” Julián Castro, the only Latino candidate in the Democratic primary and one of the last to endorse Biden, tweeted his endorsement after the speech, saying, “Joe Biden recognizes the urgent need for real reform to address our broken policing system. I’m proud to support him, and I look forward to seeing these reforms become law, so that what happened to George Floyd never happens again.”

The pundit class lauded the former vice-president’s address as already-presidential, with CNN political commentator and former Clinton White House adviser Paul Begala calling it “powerful, beautiful, true:” “Biden is saying what a president should say. He is calling for action and healing, unity and understanding. This man will make a fine President for these troubled times.” ‘Never Trump Republican Steve Schmidt said Biden “offered a nation in chaos a respite from insanity and the authoritarian fulminations of our despicable President. These are the words of a man ready to lead America.”

To some, the speech was proof that Biden, even before the November election, should already be embraced as our de facto national leaders. “This was Biden’s most impressive moment in more than 40 years of public service,” tweeted Jennifer Rubin, conservative opinion writer at the Washington Post. “He gave us a choice — to be our best selves or our worst, to unite and heal or go to war with one another. He showed us he can POTUS. Indeed, he’s the closest thing we have.”

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