NAB's Gordon Smith: Time to Acknowledge Election of Joe Biden

Gordon Smith during the 2019 NAB Show
National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith (Image credit: Robb Cohen Photography & Video, Kevin Jones, Adam Shane, Lisa Staszewski and Timm Andrews)

Reaction began to pour in Saturday after the cable and broadcast news nets reported that former senator and Vice President Joe Biden had won enough votes to become the 46th President of the United States and Sen. Kamala Harris to be the first woman and first person of color to be Vice President-elect.

Among the first was from another former senator, Gordon Smith, president of the National Association of Broadcasters, who said it was time to acknowledge Biden has been elected President.

“It has been clear for days now that Joe Biden has been on track to win the popular vote in his run for the presidency. It is decisive that today he has surpassed the threshold of 270 electoral college votes. NAB congratulates Joe Biden on becoming president-elect of the United States of America...With due respect to President Trump’s rights to judicial review of election results, it is time to acknowledge the election of Joe Biden and to allow him the chance to bind our nation back together.” 

Smith that binding potential from personal experience. 

"I was privileged to serve beside President-elect Joe Biden during my two terms as a Republican Senator from Oregon," said Smith. "I know Joe. I know his patriotic love for his country and of his good heart for all his countrymen. Working together on the Foreign Relations Committee, we routinely bridged the partisan divide to achieve important legislative accomplishments. And, during a time of personal tragedy for my family, when we lost our son Garrett, Joe was a source of support and solace. Because he too knew the pain of losing a child, he gave to me a steady, brotherly shoulder to lean on. Joe is a healer, the consoler-in-chief our nation has elected. 

"Congratulations to President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on your victory," tweeted Michael Powell, "NCTA-The Internet & Television Association and the U.S. cable industry look forward to working with you and your administration."

“CCIA congratulates President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their historic election and look forward to working with their Administration and the new Congress on tech policy issues that can boost innovation, create jobs, and bolster the U.S. economy," said said Computer & Communications Industry Association President Matt Schruers. "In these unprecedented times, policies like strengthening commerce and relations with our trading partners, and encouraging broadband access to overcome the digital divide, can create economic opportunity as our nation fights the pandemic and its consequences together." 

“The Motion Picture Association congratulates President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and the incoming 117th Congress on their electoral victories," said Motion Picture Association Chairman Charles Rivkin. "We look forward to working with them on a wide range of important issues, including measures that facilitate return to work for an industry that supports 2.5 million American jobs, helps finance 280,000 businesses in cities and small towns across the country, and pays over $181 billion in wages annually. We commend everyone who worked this year to ensure fair elections and preserve our nation’s legitimate democratic processes.”

Free Press was already driving some policy stakes in the ground.

"We will push the new administration, Congress and the FCC to quickly restore Title II authority, strengthen the rules protecting the free and open internet, and ensure the agency can take action to get broadband to everyone," said Free Press. "A clear commitment to Net Neutrality and strong FCC authority to protect everyone’s broadband rights is a prerequisite for anyone picked to run the FCC."

“We congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory," said Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Technology Association. “Our vibrant technology sector is the envy of the world. We look forward to working with President-elect Biden and his administration, as well as the new Congress to advance priorities that promote innovation and competition in America. Specifically, we look forward to recalibrating our trade policies, promoting free online speech by preserving Section 230 protections and ensuring all Americans have the access and benefits of high-speed broadband. We are also committed to attracting the best and brightest to work in America through meaningful immigration reform and by training the American workforce on the skills needed to compete in the tech economy. 

“We look forward to the peaceful transition of power which both parties have followed and respected and sets us apart from many other countries.” 

 “The tech industry congratulates President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their historic election," said ITI President Jason Oxman. "We understand revitalizing and growing the U.S. economy will be a top focus as the world continues to grapple with COVID-19 and the economic fallout from the pandemic. Our industry can be a partner on this all-important effort, as well as on policies that maintain America’s global leadership and foster greater opportunity for American families across all communities. From closing the digital divide to investing in research and development to a renewed collaboration with allies to achieve U.S. trade, economic, and national security objectives, our industry is committed to working constructively with the Biden-Harris Administration to ensure that the United States adopts policies that support the well-being of all Americans. At the same time, America’s proud tradition of a peaceful transition of power must continue..."

“We congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their victory, and we look forward to working with the President-elect, his Administration and the Congress to ensure broadband connections for all Americans," ACA Connects President Matt Polka. 

 “This pandemic has made the powerful case that connectivity is a priority for every family and business. We look forward to working with everyone in this new Administration to build upon the Herculean efforts our Members have made as they continue to serve their customers and communities during the ongoing pandemic," said Polka. "Our Members, who serve rural and hard-to-reach areas across the nation, will be key allies in the effort to complete the task of broadband everywhere. Our Members have and will continue to invest, innovate and deploy broadband to the most remote places in America."

“I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their historic victory," said TechNet President and CEO Linda Moore. "I especially want to congratulate Vice President-elect Harris as the first woman to hold this role in our nation's 244-year history.... At TechNet, our focus remains on advancing policies that enable inclusive job growth, empower the workforce of tomorrow, ensure our nation’s global competitiveness, and promote digital trust...."

“The results of this election are clear: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ victory is possible because women, particularly Black women, across the nation made their voices heard," said Shaunna Thomas, executive director of UltraViolet. "Throughout American history, Black women and women of color have led the charge against injustice and sparked social change. Today, they changed the course of our nation."

"The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) congratulates President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on their historic victory in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, which saw record voter turnout across the country and pivotal turnout from Native voters in the decisive states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona, among others," said NCAI, which has been pushing for closing the broadband divide on Tribal lands. "NCAI looks forward to working closely with the Biden-Harris transition team in the coming weeks to ensure that Indian Country’s key priorities are addressed, and with the Biden-Harris Administration over the next four years to strengthen the government-to-government relationship and the federal government’s fulfillment of its trust and treaty obligations to tribal nations."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.