Monday afternoon, President-elect Joe Biden arrived in Atlanta with one message on his mind: take control of the Senate. His speech laid bare what was a stake for Democrats, a Senate led by the current majority leader Mitch McConnell that seeks to obstruct any semblance of a progressive agenda.

“Folks, this is it. This is it. It’s a new year, and tomorrow can be a new day for Atlanta, for Georgia and for America,” Biden said at a drive-in rally in downtown Atlanta. “Unlike any time in my career, one state — one state — can chart the course, not just for the four years but for the next generation.”

Flanked by Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and the Reverend Raphael G. Warnock, Biden discussed the slow rate the Trump Administration has rolled out the vaccine.

“I’ve said it before. Getting America vaccinated will be one of the most difficult operational challenges this nation has ever faced,” said Biden. “This Administration has gotten us off to a God-awful start. The states need more money to do the job. And they need a Federal Government that will work with them, not attack them or leave them hanging. It’s going to be tough to get this done, but we have to do it.”

Also appearing at the rally was Stacey Abrams, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, performances by Yolanda Adams, Ne-Yo, and Jeezy. Jermaine Dupri hosted the rally.

While Biden, Ossoff and Warnock made their closing arguments, Vice President Mike Pence was heckled by a man who attempted to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential Election.

“You know, I know we’ve all got our doubts about the last election. And I want to assure you, I share the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities,” Pence said.

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by GOP lawmakers last Friday that sought to give the vice president power to reject electoral college votes cast for Joe Biden. Pence, placed between the proverbial rock and a hard place, has been given a choice between placating his boss or following the United States Constitution.

“We’ll hear the objections. We’ll hear the evidence. But tomorrow is Georgia’s day,” said Pence. “So for our faith, for our freedom, we need you to vote, Georgia! If you don’t vote, there could be nothing stopping Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi from cutting our military, raising taxes and passing the agenda of the radical left.”

The backdrop of the Georgia runoff has taken a dark and sinister turn after the Saturday phone call President Donald Trump had with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Monday afternoon, Raffensperger called a press conference as they prepare for Tuesday’s runoff election. Gabriel Sterling, a top Georgia election official, referred to the phone call as “Groundhog Day.”

During the call, Raffensperger calmly denied, even debunked some of the President’s claims. However, Trump was insolent.

“All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state,” Trump stated at one point. “Flipping the state is a great testament to our country. It’s a testament that they can admit to a mistake. A lot of people think it wasn’t a mistake, it was much more criminal than that. But it’s a big problem in Georgia, and it’s not a problem that’s going away.”

Trump and his lawyers insist that thousands of votes were cast in Georgia by people who were under 18, weren’t registered to vote, registered late, or registered with a P.O. box instead of a residential address. The Georgia Secretary of State’s office investigated the claims, Sterling said, and did not find a single ballot cast by anyone in any of those categories.

“I’ve got such a long list,” Sterling said as he rattled off claims about ballot scanning devices being hacked (“it’s very hard to hack things without modems”) and people replacing parts in Dominion voting machines (“I don’t even know what that means”).

Seemingly at his wit’s end, Sterling leveled with Republicans.

“If you want your values reflected by your elected officials, I strongly beg and encourage you, go vote tomorrow,” Sterling said. “Do not self suppress your own vote. Don’t let anybody steal your vote that way.”

President Trump would later hold a rally in Dalton with Senator Kelly Loeffler. Loeffler is embroiled in a tough battle with Warnock for one of Georgia’s Senate seats.

“I hope Mike Pence comes through for us,” Trump said. “I have to tell you, I hope that our great vice president, our great vice president comes through for us. He’s a great guy, because if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him.”

But Pence’s role is largely ceremonial as a joint session of Congress meets on Wednesday to certify the tally of the Electoral College, which met last month and voted 306-232 in favor of Biden.

President-elect Joe Biden campaigns in Atlanta, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, for Senate candidates Raphael Warnock, center, and Jon Ossoff, left. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...

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