Meet Vinay Reddy, the man behind Biden’s powerful inaugural address

New president’s top speechwriter is a longtime aide who previously worked with him in the White house

Chris Riotta
New York
Wednesday 20 January 2021 13:50 EST

Joe Biden sworn in as 46th president of United States

President Joe Biden’s top speechwriter has entered the national spotlight as his inaugural speech received swift praise on Wednesday, with glowing reviews noting its powerful calls for unity and hope in the midst of challenging times.

Vinay Reddy, a senior adviser and director of speechwriting for the new president, previously served as chief speechwriter to Mr Biden during the second term of his vice presidency.

Mr Reddy is of Indian descent from a remote village in the Karimnagar district of Telangana, according to India Today, which reported how his work with the US president had made local residents proud.

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Born and raised in the US, Mr Reddy received a law degree from the Ohio State University College of Law and also attended Miami University. He has served on speechwriting teams at the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as for former President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Mr Reddy also served as a speechwriter for Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, where he grew up in an immigrant family in Dayton. 

"Hear me out as we move forward,” Mr Biden said at one point in his speech, vowing to be a “president for all Americans.”

He added: "We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue."

The speech outlined Mr Biden’s goals for his administration, focusing on healing from the current state of division in national politics.

“We'll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities,” he said. “Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain. Few people in our nation's history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we're in now.”

The president continued: “To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity.”

Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian, described Mr Biden’s inaugural speech as “modest, austere, grave, calming, cleansing” and “inspiring” in a tweet, while other commentators and media columnists said the president “gave the speech the moment demanded.”

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