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“Biggest challenge entering office since FDR,” UMaine professor talks Biden taking over

Mark Brewer says the President’s speech marks the start of change.
Joseph R. Biden is sworn in as the 46th president on Wednesday.
Joseph R. Biden is sworn in as the 46th president on Wednesday.
Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 4:11 PM EST
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - The nation watched the peaceful transition of power to President Joe Biden play out Wednesday.

Biden took the oath of office then delivered his inaugural address with numerous calls for unity.

TV5 spoke with a University of Maine Political Science professor following the inauguration to get his take on what lies ahead for the Biden administration.

A bipartisan showing of support as the 46th President took the oath of office Wednesday.

“Three living ex-presidents with their spouses milling about, very friendly, talking to each other and members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, people of all parties and ideologies to see them come together in the celebration of American democracy,” said Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine.

“I think it’s going go down as very well received and regarded inaugural address,” he said.

Brewer says the President’s speech marks the start of change.

“He talked about the United States needing to do better and be better,” said Brewer. “He certainly, I would say facing the biggest challenge any president has faced entering office since at least FDR. Racial inequality or COVID-19, high rates of unemployment, rebuilding the economy, he talked about those in relatively stark terms.”

Biden also indicated he intends to get some big things done in a bipartisan fashion.

Brewer is hopeful he can.

“I don’t think anybody’s expecting him to be a miracle worker, but he does have 40 plus years of deal cutting as a United States Senator and as President Obama’s right hand man for dealing with Congress, so let’s see what he can pull off.” he said.

Overall, a message of uniting a divided nation.

“Unity doesn’t mean that everybody has to drop their political disagreements and lock arms and sing Kumbaya together. That’s not what unity is. It is agreeing to disagree civilly, to accept losing graciously when you lose, and to win graciously, perhaps more importantly. But at the end of the day, we are all in this together whether we like it or not. Recognizing that and working with that is I think something Joe Biden recognizes, and I’m hopeful he’s able to convince people that this is the way to move forward.”

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