Joe Biden’s Pro-Worker, Populist State of the Union Address
On February 8, 2023, President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, with an estimated 27.3 million viewers tuning in across major U.S. television networks. The address was marked by House Republicans heckling and jeering the president, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene even shouting “Liar” at one point.
Thanks to the caucus of House Republicans boorishly heckling him, Biden came off as confident, optimistic, and normal by comparison. He was the proverbial adult in the room, promoting a message that not all Americans will agree with, but at least sought to address their major concerns. In his speech, Biden was not limited to the prepared text, but instead spoke spontaneously and used the interruptions to emphasize his point. He accused “some” Republicans of plotting to sunset Social Security and Medicare, which incited further outrage from Republicans in the chamber.
In his first two years, Biden bragged that 12.1 million jobs were created, which is more than any other president achieved in four years. However, this job growth was fueled by a post-pandemic recovery that started under his predecessor, and his comparison doesn’t account for population growth. Over the course of Biden's first two years in office, 12.1 million jobs have been added to the US economy. In Trump's last nine months as President, 12.5 million jobs were added to the economy.
The president also spoke about reducing the deficit by $1.7 trillion and capping the cost of insulin for everybody at $35. While it is true that 25% of the national debt was accumulated under Trump’s tenure, Obama’s figure is so much larger partly because he served eight years, while Trump served only four.
This State of the Union address was arguably the most pro-worker, populist, and shrewd in modern history. Joe Biden managed to reveal the Republicans as conservative in attitude and policy while still maintaining a friendly, optimistic attitude and displaying a positive outlook for the American people's future. This may make a difference in how Democratic voters view Biden’s re-election bid in 2024, as many polls have shown that the majority of Democratic voters would prefer someone else.
0. “State Of The Union TV Viewership Falls 29% To 27.3 Million, According To Nielsen” Deadline, 9 Feb. 2023, https://deadline.com/2023/02/state-of-the-union-ratings-joe-biden-1235253659/
1. “The top three lessons from Biden's State of the Union” MSNBC, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.msnbc.com/symone/top-three-lessons-bidens-state-union-rcna69990
2. “No One With a Brain Sees the GOP as the ‘Party of Normal'” The Daily Beast, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/no-one-with-a-brain-sees-the-gop-as-the-party-of-normal
3. “How Biden’s State of the Union Successfully Baited Congressional Republicans” The Atlantic, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/02/state-union-joe-biden-congress-republicans/672984
4. “FactChecking the State of the Union” FactCheck.org, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.factcheck.org/2023/02/factchecking-the-state-of-the-union-4/
5. “11 Good and Normal Things Republicans Refused to Clap for During Biden's State of the Union” The New Republic, 8 Feb. 2023, https://newrepublic.com/post/170466/11-good-things-republicans-refused-applaud-biden-state-union-address
6. “Opinion: Americans deserve more than a Biden-Trump rematch” CNN, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/09/opinions/biden-trump-america-deserves-more-brown/index.html
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