Everyone interpreted Biden’s appearance from the point of view of a possible presidential candidacy, writes Elina Väntönen, HS’s Washington correspondent.
Contributions were tough, and the president of the United States Joe Biden knew that.
State of the Union (State of the Nation) is traditionally the president’s most important speech of the year, watched by tens of millions of Americans.
Success now was even more important than usual, as Biden is expected to register for the 2024 presidential race at any time.
A grope, a series of coughs, a loss of words or just poor alertness could all have led to a debate about whether the 80-year-old Biden is too old to seek another term.
Everyone interpreted Biden’s appearance as inexorably against his possible candidacy.
And after all, Biden sounded like a presidential candidate, and the speech was partly like an unofficial campaign opening.
He emphasized the excellence of the United States and immediately praised the joint achievements of Democrats and Republicans at the beginning of his speech. He talked about the possibilities of cooperation and warned against arguing just for the sake of arguing.
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Gone were the typical spikes in the direction of the “maga-republicans” last fall. A word maga actually never heard from. (It refers to Trump supporters whose slogan is Make America Great Again.)
Despite this message of unity, it was impossible to forget that the Democrats are now in the minority in the House of Representatives.
For the first time, the new speaker of the House of Representatives, a Republican, sat behind Biden’s shoulder Kevin McCarthy, whose performance many watched with almost as much interest as the president’s. His gesture caught the attention of many.
Of course Before the speech began, McCarthy had instructed his followers to behave appropriately. Nevertheless, McCarthy ended up fooling his own on several occasions.
The loudest interlude was, as expected, the mouthpiece of the Trump wing of the Republicans Marjorie Taylor Greenewhich, among other things, accused the president of being a liar when he said Republicans were trying to cut Social Security.
When Biden talked about the U.S. relationship with China, Greene yelled, “They’re spying on us!” referring to the most recent espionage skirmish.
Read more: The ball dispute is part of a long dispute – the US and China are now trying to establish a relationship to avoid a damage war
Read more: The video shows how the US shot down a suspected spy ball, China “reserves the right” to retaliate
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene gave a thumbs-down during President Joe Biden’s speech. Picture: Win Mcnamee / AFP
On a few occasions, Republicans broke out into chants of “border, border, border” as they vented their frustration with the president’s border policy. When Biden spoke about the deaths caused by fentanyl, he was shouted at: “Your fault!”
Sometimes the interruptions made Biden struggle, but thanks to them, we also saw the highlight of the president’s speech.
As Republicans en masse protested Biden’s accusations that some Republicans wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare, Biden responded to the complaint — in a speech where improvisation is quite rare.
“I enjoy converting people,” he said.
“Apparently we have an understanding? Neither is touched? Alright,” he said, giving a thumbs up.
It is very possible that Biden was deliberately trying to provoke Republicans. According to the sources of the news channel CNN, the assistants threw high-pitched vitos during the speech.
Protests in connection with the speech are not unheard of. In 2020, the speaker of the House of Representatives at the time, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, tore up the transcript of President Donald Trump’s speech while still standing behind him on the stage. Picture: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
Bidenin the focus of the speech was, as expected, on the economy.
There is a reason for that: unemployment in the United States is lower than it has been in a long time and inflation has begun to decline.
Despite this, the majority of Americans are still dissatisfied with the economic situation. That’s a problem for Biden, because the economy is everything in the election.
So Biden should at least make Americans believe that the economic situation is actually better than they feel.
Its predecessor Donald Trump’s like Biden emphasized the importance of domestic work and products. He promised that only American materials will be used in all federal construction projects – of which there are many with the infrastructure package.
We didn’t get to foreign policy until the second hour of the speech. Biden did not even mention China’s “spyball” directly, but stated that the United States would defend itself if necessary. He assured Ukraine that US support would continue.
It is a little strange that Biden did not mention the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, where thousands of people have died.
Biden did not directly refer to the next presidential election in his speech, but he did refer several times to unfinished business — as if to signal that his administration needs another term to complete several of its goals.
The speech was so successful that it is hard to see that it weakened Biden’s chances.
However, it is still not enough. Clearly less than half of the Democratic voters hope that the president will seek another term.
It’s not a very flattering read.
Correction 8.2. 1:37 p.m.: The article previously incorrectly read that Biden would have said he enjoyed the conversation. He used the word conversion, which refers to changing people’s beliefs.