State of the Union address: Did Biden deliver?

President Biden’s State of the Union Address

Fact Box

  • On March 1, 2022, President Biden delivered his first official State of the Union address while focusing on Ukraine, inflation, coronavirus, and his “Unity Agenda” which centers on beating the opioid epidemic, addressing mental health especially childrens’, supporting our veterans, and ending cancer. 
  • Two days ahead of the address, the US Capitol physician Brian Monahan lifted mask mandates for those inside the House chamber, stating, “Individuals may choose to mask at any time, but it is no longer a requirement.” 
  • Biden’s speech drew in 33.82 million viewers, which was 44% more than the previous joint session in April 2021 with most views coming from Fox News, ABC, and CBS. 
  • According to a February 2022 Morning Consult and Politico poll, 41% of Americans approve of President Biden while 56% disapprove of his job in office. 
  • For Biden’s inauguration anniversary speech, the White House recorded fast facts and claims: more than 6 million jobs were created, the unemployment rate dropped 6.2% since Biden’s first day, almost five million Americans have gained health insurance, and more about climate investment, personnel, and legislation.

Siam (Yes)

President Biden had his work cut out for him as he delivered his State of the Union speech. Pleasing every single adult American is a difficult task because Biden had many issues on his plate—both domestically and abroad. As far as Russia was concerned, Biden revealed that the US had closed the airspace and tightened the economic screws in many sectors, leaving Putin isolated. His support for the Ukraine president and its citizens was unwavering. And to that point, Biden added that he would defend every inch of the NATO alliance—a somber warning to the Russians.

Biden then urged bipartisanship in Congress on many issues facing Americans, including lowering drug prices, boosting research to lower cancer, and raising the minimum wage to $15. And there were not many who disagreed with his sentiments on these topics.

And he agreed with his Republican colleagues on several other topics that affect the nation; one is that crime had gotten out of hand, and this was the time to reject 'the defund the police' campaign and support, supporting our law officials. Secondly, Biden also said that the immigration system had to be fixed, finally acknowledging what Republicans have been saying for several years. And he did not disappoint anyone with his selection of Ketanji Brown Jackson as a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Finally, Biden stated it was about time we put COVID to rest and that the country moves on. He reminded everyone that the US has the tools to prevent the shutdown of businesses and schools. Overall, the bipartisan approach to the issues and his show of support for Ukraine were the winning points—time will tell if he is right.

Curtice (No)

President Biden delivered his first State of the Union address to Congress. If the goal was to reassure Americans that he is in command, he failed. He convinced no one that he is up for the task of being president.

There was no mention of Afghanistan. If the withdrawal was such a success, as he had claimed at the time, surely he would have mentioned it in his speech. While he touted NATO's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, he failed to mention that his energy policies have made the US more dependent on foreign oil and, therefore, more vulnerable to steep price increases. Ordering releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves is a band-aid fix. Domestic oil production offers long-term price stability and security.

He seemed to suggest the cost of goods can come down simply by decree. If that were the case, inflation would not be at a 40-year high. Whatsmore, his administration kept telling us that inflation was merely transitory. A lie. He further pushed for domestic manufacturing as a means of tackling inflation. There can be many valid reasons to encourage more domestic manufacturing of goods. But due to higher costs for wages and a much more onerous regulatory and compliance environment in the United States, it won't do anything to reduce inflation. Biden seems to encourage everything to be produced in the United States, except oil.

He did seem to distance himself from the 'defund the police' wing of the Democratic party. This is undoubtedly a result of polling and actual results that have shown to be bad for communities and for Democrats polls. Biden did nothing to give American confidence he can do the job for his remaining term.

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