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    President Biden’s State of the Union: Heckling, Re-Election Prospects, and Labor


    More than a decade ago, the prospect of Republicans heckling and jeering during a Presidential address was almost unthinkable. But at President Joe Biden's State of the Union address Tuesday night, that's exactly what happened.[0] Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) led the heckling and shouting, calling Biden a liar when he accused some Republicans of wanting to sunset Social Security and Medicare.[1] However, Biden was ready and rolled with the interruptions, using them to reinforce his message and even garner a smile from the audience.[2] He quipped, “I enjoy conversion” and proceeded to get the entire chamber to applaud for preserving the programs, turning his critics into props in his performance.[3]

    Now, Biden is looking to the future, with a potential re-election campaign on the horizon.[4] While Democrats have to worry that voters will be resistant to electing someone who will be 86 at the end of his second term, Biden needs to overcome a nagging reality.[4] But according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll this week, only 37 percent of Democrats want Biden to run for re-election.[5]

    When it comes to policing reform, Biden introduced the parents of Tyre Nichols — killed in a beating by police in Memphis last month — and trumpeted his proposals to reduce police violence.[0] However, he steered far clear of the anti-police rhetoric embraced by some on the left.[0] A Morning Consult/Politico poll from May 2021 revealed that there was a 9-point rise in the number of white respondents and a 15-point increase in the number of Republicans who deemed police violence a “very” or “somewhat” serious issue in the U.S.[6]

    Biden also emphasized the importance of labor during his speech, promoting his record on job creation and echoing themes from his State of the Union address.[7] He is the nearest thing we’ve had to a blue-collar president in more than a generation, and he’s made labor a cornerstone of his administration.[8] The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, according to the speaker, will enable the U.S. to change out lead pipes that are going into 10 million homes, 400,000 schools, and childcare centers.[9] The Biden administration also announced “new actions and progress” to remove lead pipes and paint.[9]

    0. “Republicans Turn Themselves Into Props for Biden” POLITICO, 8 Feb. 2023,

    1. “Marjorie Taylor Greene’s fur coat at the State of the Union sent a message” The Washington Post, 8 Feb. 2023,

    2. “How Biden’s State of the Union Successfully Baited Congressional Republicans” The Atlantic, 8 Feb. 2023,

    3. “Republicans Keep Underestimating Joe Biden” The Atlantic, 8 Feb. 2023,

    4. “State of the Union shows Biden focused on 2024, not economy, inflation” USA TODAY, 8 Feb. 2023,

    5. “Opinion: The GOP is playing right into Biden's hands” CNN, 9 Feb. 2023,

    6. “Why Biden’s Promise Of Police Reform Might Not Lead To Change” FiveThirtyEight, 8 Feb. 2023,

    7. “President Joe Biden speaks about job creation near Madison” Wisconsin Public Radio, 8 Feb. 2023,

    8. “Opinion: Biden squandered this opportunity during State of the Union” CNN, 9 Feb. 2023,

    9. “FactChecking the State of the Union”, 8 Feb. 2023,

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