Biden crowd rallies in Wilmington

Joe Biden supporters began gathering at the Wilmington Riverfront Friday afternoon. Delaware State News/Craig Anderson

WILMINGTON — They were young and old, hailing from a multitude of backgrounds and all sharing similar dreams for the future.

Joe Biden supporters flocked to the Chase Center on the Riverfront Friday, hoping he’d complete a winning presidential run by the end of the night.

Numbers were trending positively in critical battleground states of Georgia and Pennsylvania, but there weren’t quite enough votes yet to best President Donald Trump. Nevada and Arizona were looking promising as well for the Democratic nominee.

So they waited anxiously as night fell and awaited possibly the biggest speech of all from former Vice President Biden.

Chris and Jennifer Boudart pedaled on their bikes from the nearby Jack Markell Trail and opined that the race was nearly complete.

“It seemed like a great time to come and see the next president of the United States,” Mr. Boudart said. “It’s pretty close and I believe we’re there.”

Interjected Mrs. Boudart: “I put it on my Instagram — It’s happening!”

News crews, many international, filled adjacent parking lots and several dozen balloons decorated the fence line near the parking lot. A huge American flag flapped over the proceedings.

Nathan Jenkins hawked blue and green shirts in the crowd. They carried the slogans: “I survived: COVID-19 & VIRUS-45.”

The “VIRUS-45” reference was to Mr. Trump, the 45th United States President, Mr. Jenkins said. The green shirts had a face mask on them as well.

Of the 50 shirts Mr. Jenkins arrived with at 10 a.m., about half remained at around 4 p.m. All the $40 sweatshirts were snatched up quickly, and the supply of $20 T-shirts was quickly dwindling.

Even with the positive vibe Mr. Jenkins said surrounded him, he admitted to arriving with an edge. He’d suffered from COVID-19 along with his wife in April, describing it as a near death experience and decried the way it’s been handled by the president.

“I think (Trump) is a virus to this country,” he said, claiming that “He doesn’t care about science, he doesn’t care about any of that.

“My wife is African American and has experienced racism a lot bolder than it ever was. Racism was always around but people are now more bold about it, they’re more open about it.”

About the president, Mr. Jenkins said, “It’s a scary thing when he has the ability to whip up a cult following to do whatever he wants.”

Zuleyka Jenkins made a five-minute walk from home to arrive with her three daughters ages 11, 8 and 7 by mid-afternoon and planned to stay until the end.

“We’re not going anywhere,” she said emphatically while smiling widely.

Her oldest daughter Daniela said, “I love Joe Biden because he loves poor people and that’s what I like.

“He helps Black people, he helps Puerto Ricans and others don’t help people the way he does.”

Wearing an attention-getting Biden-Harris magnetic bumper sticker wrapped around his head, Eddie Martin of Salem, N.J., had plenty of reasons to pull for Mr. Biden.

“Joe Biden is an area guy, I’m an area guy and a president from this area, I would love it,” he said.

“He has a lot of good ideas and we’re kind of at the bottom of the barrel of any good ideas, anything resembling common sense.
“I’m sure (Mr. Biden) wants to see us on the right track, we’re not on the right track right now.

“Donald Trump is a mess.”

Lynn Gallimore seemed to be soaking it all in as she sat quietly in her vehicle.

“I’m more positive than I have been in four years,” she said. “I was really anxious looking at the results right after Tuesday thinking ‘No he didn’t get elected.’

“So now that the last four states have turned Blue, I’m getting excited for what this means for not just Delaware, not just for Joe, not just for Kamala but what it means for the United States, the United States, emphasis on the United.

“I’m excited to get back to being civil to one another, not having such discord, so I’m just looking forward to a better day for everyone.”

With the president’s hopes of another four years in office appearing to fade, Ms. Gallimore said, “I just want someone to get in Trump’s ear and have him concede, drop all these frivolous lawsuits.

“Well, guess what? The writing is on the wall, nothing is happening below board, everything is happening above board as it should.”

Cameron Young, 17, wore a shirt with a smiling Joe Biden and Barack Obmaa walking side by side and hoped more unity is on the way to replace the divisiveness that pervades the country.

“I think it matters that you’re able to be who you are and not attacked for what you believe in,” he said. “Like others have said, it’s a divided America and it shouldn’t be that way at all, we should all be as one.”