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Biden’s SOTU speech shows clear distinction between candidates

Office of the President of the United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol, Thursday March 7, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

Last Thursday, President Biden delivered his annual State of the Union, as required by the Constitution. 

Despite repeated heckling from Republicans, I would argue that the President made an effective case for why he should remain in office for a second term, focusing on his accomplishments during his first term, such as finally fixing the response to the pandemic, after a year of neglect from his predecessor, as well as creating roughly 15 million jobs in three years, bringing unemployment rates to a 50-year low, and enabling over 16 million Americans to start small businesses.

The President’s biggest issue that he has faced is general portrayal in the media as ‘America’s grandpa’, an old man far past his prime who is too inconsistent to lead the country, as well as general ignorance of his accomplishments. However, I would argue that his actions, such as the ninety-four executive orders he signed within his first one hundred days, as well as his extreme skill with which he is able to work on bills and policy negotiations (particularly with Republicans) behind the scenes, have more than justified his reelection – especially since an advantage of his many, many years in Washington is his ability to use long-established relationships with senior Republicans to reach bi-partisan agreements. While the purpose of this address was of course to detail the state the country finds itself in, it is also a demonstration of these accomplishments.

During the speech, the President brought particular focus to how he and his staff, along with Democratic Congressional Leadership, negotiated a bipartisan border bill with Republicans that would temporarily shut down all entries on the southern border in order to have the time and resources to fix the multiple issues occurring there. Everything was set to be signed into law, until, of course, Biden’s predecessor called the Republican lawmakers working on the bill and had them vote against it. This was clearly still a controversial topic – as the President brought up the border during his speech, he was booed and heckled by almost the entire Republican side of the chamber – even though they agreed with the bill and helped write it.

This shows the stark contrast between President Biden and former President Trump: One reaches across the aisle to work with his opponents on a policy that will benefit millions of current Americans and future Americans, and one reaches through the telephone to force his allies to shut down a policy so that he can retain it as an issue to campaign on and use for personal gain. Going into the upcoming election, this year’s State of the Union made it obvious – this is the condition of our two candidates. Now the choice is in our, the people’s, hands.

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    Sandra KerrApr 2, 2024 at 12:02 pm

    Biden is being led by Obama. Without him he would not know what to do. He must have practiced that speech for months. When he cannot walk up and down stairs or has to be led off stage and cannot answer off the cuff it just shows he is only following orders. Maybe we should elect his wife and Obama as Vice President since he is the one in Control and Biden’s wife can at least walk upstairs and get off stage by herself.