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Biden changes America in an instant -- but tougher challenges loom

January 21, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 22%. 2 min read.

On the first morning of Joe Biden's presidency, America has changed utterly, and not at all.

(CNN)On the first morning of Joe Biden's presidency, America has changed utterly, and not at all.

Every step Biden took on Wednesday -- from worshipping with rival congressional leaders before his swearing-in to an inaugural address that stressed healing, unity and truth through a trip to Arlington National Cemetery with three ex-presidents -- sent a clear message: America is on a new course.

Biden's early events, meanwhile, suggest that the President will now speak to the country in calm, well-measured speeches rather than raging tweets and rambling monologues.

In essence, Biden's conduct Wednesday, as he often reflected credit on his subordinates and coaxed the American people to live up to their country's core values, demonstrated deep respect for the institution of the presidency itself, and a willingness to make his term about something other than himself.

Yet throughout the day there were reminders of the challenges that will decide the fate of Biden's presidency -- underscoring that while he nailed the early optics, reality is a tougher fix.

The new President is no fool, and he knows that many even on his own side roll their eyes at his somewhat old-fashioned belief that America is one country -- even as millions of Trump voters believe falsely that he stole the election.

The new White House will spend the first full day of Biden's term on Thursday addressing the crushing threat of the pandemic -- after over 4,000 more Americans died as inauguration commemorations took place.

The plan Biden is proposing -- masking, social distancing and a new push to speed up a disastrously slow vaccine rollout -- will require a concentrated effort by a united country; a metaphor, in a sense, for his entire philosophy and approach to the presidency.

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