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Opinion

Biden inherits a divided nation and a tarnished Trump legacy

Coronavirus and impeachment overhang his presidency

| North America
A man and a child wear Make America Great Again caps as they wait for Donald Trump's speech in Des Moines, Iowa, in August 2016: the damage wrought over the last four years will prove hard to banish.   © Reuters

Lionel Barber is former editor of the Financial Times and chairman of the Tate art galleries. He is author of "The Powerful and the Damned: Private Diaries in Turbulent Times."

On Jan. 20, 2021, for the first time since Andrew Johnson’s snub in 1869, an outgoing U.S. president did not attend the inauguration of his successor, in this case Joe Biden. Donald Trump's refusal to abide by convention is a dismal coda to a presidency blackened by the coronavirus pandemic, impeachment for an unprecedented second time and an insurrection incited by the commander in chief himself.

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