top of page

Biden's Fiery State of the Union Address

“Let Joe Biden be Joe Biden”—He Absolutely Was in His 2024 State of the Union Address   March 11, 2024

 

              Anita Dunn, who oversees communications strategy for the White House and helped President Biden rehearse his March 7, 2024 State of the Union (SOTU) address, aptly said it all. In a text message dealing with how Biden could handle the high-pressure setting of giving this speech that not only Congress but millions of Americans would hear, she stated that for the President to succeed it was quite simple. It boiled down to, “Let Joe Biden be Joe Biden (nytimes.com, Rogers, K., 3/06/24).” And in giving this major address, “Joe Biden was absolutely Joe Biden.”

 

            Biden gave, as most analysts correctly noted, a fiery State of the Union (SOTU) speech. Any reasonable person not taken in by the right-wing GOP and Fox propaganda of “I hate Biden for anything and everything” saw a strong extremely invigorated President. He was far from the “doddering” old man that Republicans and too many in the media want us to believe he is. Throughout his SOTU address, Biden easily joked with all the legislators and other guests seated in the House chamber. IMHO, it was probably the best SOTU speech that I have heard, and I have listened to many of them since my high school years.  I started to believe right at the beginning of his address that he would hit this one right out of the political “ball park,” when he began his speech with the comment that if “I were smart, I’d probably go home right now (cnn. com broadcast, 3/07/24).”

 

                He made the point right away and repeated it often-- democracy was at stake in this election. He spoke of how not only is the U.S. facing a threat to democracy with overseas conflicts, but also, facing a domestic threat to our democratic institutions. He never mentioned Donald Trump’s name. Instead, he used the term “my predecessor” 13 times. Of course, everyone knew Biden was obviously not referring to Washington, Lincoln, or FDR (cnn.com broadcast, 3/07/24).

 

               Biden brilliantly contrasted his “predecessor” with GOP President Ronald Reagan. When he spoke about getting Congress, which includes a GOP House majority, to pass a bill asking to assist  Ukraine in its fight against blatant Russian aggression, Biden noted how the times had changed. President Biden noted that when GOP President Reagan told Soviet leader Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall (the Berlin Wall),” he was praised by fellow GOPers. However, when Biden’s “predecessor” spoke about how Putin should handle Ukraine, “Mr. ‘Predecessor’s’” awful words were, “Do whatever you want (cnn.com broadcast).” Biden attacked “Mr. ‘Predecessor’” and too many in that fellow’s party for telling repeated lies about the January 6, 2021 attempted Capitol coup. He spoke about how history was watching how we behave today just like it did on January 6, 2021, a day when “Mr. ‘Predecessor’s’” followers nearly destroyed democracy in the worst threat since the Civil War, but failed. Biden noted  that “Mr. ‘Predecessor’” and his followers can’t love their country “only if they win (cnn.com broadcast).”

                 Biden strongly stood up for the right of women to choose whether to have an abortion.  Biden promised that unlike his predecessor who constantly bragged about overthrowing “Roe v. Wade,” he would restore “Roe” as the law of the land, if re-elected. Biden rightfully attacked his predecessor for failing in his major duty to care for and save Americans during the Covid-19 pandemic (cnn.com, broadcast).

 

              Biden has often been criticized for not being able to show all the legislative accomplishments he has achieved. Well, he did not neglect talking about his numerous achievements. He noted that when he took office, the economy was on the brink. Since he took office, 15 million jobs have been created. And despite all the cries in the media, he pointed to the fact that inflation has gone down from 9%-3% and is trending lower.  Once again, Biden showed a good sense of humor. He told the GOP Congressmembers that if they didn’t like the money he sent to their districts, “let me know (cnn.com, broadcast, 3/07/24).”  Biden spoke of the state he came from, Delaware, as being the home of many corporations and clearly admitted that he was a capitalist. He stated that he had nothing against people who worked on Wall Street. However, he boldly reminded the GOPers that it was the middle class that built this country and that labor unions built the middle class. Exactly. Biden has been one of the most pro-union presidents we have had in decades and is not ashamed of it. He spoke of how he had capped the price of insulin for diabetics on Medicare from $400 to $35 a month because a law he signed enabled Medicare to negotiate prices on some drugs and, yet, Big Pharma still made immense profits. He pushed for people not on Medicare to get those same benefits (cnn.com, broadcast 3/07/24). He spoke of Obamacare, which most GOPers opposed, as still a very big deal and declared he wants to expand this law. He argued that the key to keeping our economy superior was to start giving our children the best education possible. He spoke of free access to pre-school for 3-4 year olds as a key to educational superiority. He told how he convinced many skeptical CEO’s to understand that. He advocated giving teachers a raise as well and making college more affordable (cnn.com).

 

                 In one of the most forceful parts of his speech, Biden spoke of the 8.2% of Americans who were billionaires. Again, he stated he had nothing against people earning great wealth. He only noted that people in this group should pay their fair share of taxes, certainly not less than what teachers pay. He noted that big corporations and the super- rich now pay 15% in taxes, thanks to his efforts, and said he hoped to raise that tax to 21%. He again warned the GOP that he would stop any attempts on their part to repeal Social Security. He noted he had already cut the deficit by more than 1 trillion dollars (cnn.com broadcast).

 

                And, of course, Biden took on his demagogic predecessor’s obsession—the “I” word, “immigration.” He noted that a bipartisan Senate bill was backed by the Border Patrol, unions, and the Chamber of Commerce. However, Biden emphasized that his predecessor called lawmakers telling them to kill this bill, which they then did.  Biden urged his predecessor to join him in getting this bill done. Biden stated he would not denounce immigrants as “poisonous.” He added in strong words, “we can fight about fixing our border or fix it. I’m for fixing it.” Translation: His predecessor is not for fixing it. Mr. “Predecessor” made no bones about killing this immigration compromise because it would destroy a key issue he has against Biden and Democrats in this campaign. Sen. James Lankford, a very conservative Republican from Oklahoma, who worked on this compromise with Biden and fellow Democrats, was seen agreeing with the President on this point during the State of the Union speech (cnn.com, broadcast).  Biden told transgender Americans, “I have your back.” He spoke of passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to keep states from suppressing poor and minority voters at the polls. He noted that 3/07/2024, the date of his SOTU speech, was the day 59 years ago that Alabama state troopers beat marchers in Selma including the late Cong. John Lewis (cnn.com, broadcast, 3/07/24). Biden refuted the  false belief that Democrats and his administration are “soft on crime.” He stated that America is “safer today than when he took office and has had the sharpest crime decrease in history.” He urged passage of reasonable gun control including universal background checks. He additionally spoke of his predecessor saying that he was proud that he did “nothing” after a mass shooting and that one should “just get over it!” Biden said, “Stop it”-- the gun violence (cnn.com, broadcast, 3/07/24).

 

           Biden spoke poignantly about the Middle East fighting that Israel is still engaged with against barbaric Hamas and has affected many members in Congress who have friends and relatives in this region. He rightfully described Hamas’ October 7, 2023 surprise attack against Israel as the deadliest killing of Jews in one day since the Holocaust. State of the Union addresses are often “laundry lists” of what Presidents want to do in the future and a recitation of what they have already achieved. However, in this part of his speech, Biden added some rather surprising news that many Americans had not yet heard. He outlined the U.S. military plan to build a floating pier near Gaza’s Mediterranean coast to supply food, water, medicine, and other necessities to that area’s civilians caught in a war zone between Israel and Hamas. He stated that the operation would “enable a massive increase” in the assistance entering that territory. American officials have stated that they “worked closely” with Israel in developing this plan. Again, as in Ukraine, no American soldiers will be involved in any combat here. Biden has been accused by many, especially Arab Americans, for not doing enough to help address the suffering in Gaza. Hopefully, this move will shore up his support among wavering Arab-American Democrats in Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, and other states. Biden also told Israel and its Likud Party right-wing government led by Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu that “Israel must allow more aid into Gaza and ensure that humanitarian workers aren’t caught in the cross-fire.” Biden stated he was working for a cease fire but did not call for an immediate one, which would benefit surviving Hamas members. He did not regret supporting Israel in this conflict, and noted that he has one of the strongest pro-Israel records since he entered politics in the 1970’s. He stated that he has been the only President to visit Israel during wartime, which he did during the recent Israel-Hamas conflict. However, he directly told Israeli leaders that “humanitarian assistance cannot be a secondary consideration or bargaining chip.” He repeated that he favors, as do most Americans, a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians (cnn.com, broadcast, 3/07/04, nytimes.com, 3/8/24). These remarks rightly received applause from his congressional viewers. He affirmed his support for attacking the anti-U.S. Iranian-backed Houtis who often attack the U.S. Navy (cnn.com, broadcast, 3/07/24).

 

              Biden took aim at GOPers who constantly complain that China is rising while the U.S. is falling and the tough talk of his Republican predecessor on this matter. Biden noted that he has taken China to task on key issues which Mr. “Predecessor” never did and America is the country that is rising. Under Biden’s administration, the trade deficit with China is down (cnn.com, broadcast, 3/07/24).

 

        Biden closed his address by tackling his “age” problem that the media and GOP ceaselessly yell about. Of course, Biden can’t reverse the fact that he is currently 81. However, he noted that his age has given him a long career and he can see issues more clearly than many others. People once called him too young to be in Congress. Now, they say he is too old to be the Chief Executive. Translation: Stop uselessly carping about this. He aptly declared: “It’s not how old we are but our ideas. He is an optimist with a vision for the future, not someone holding on to old antiquated ideas (See cnn.com, broadcast, 3/07/24).” He hit the proverbial nail on the head. Biden called himself an “optimist for the middle class, one who sees his goal as defending democracy and the right to choose.” He further added, “I see a future for all of America and the American people (cnn.com, broadcast, 3/07/24).” Those ideas breathe new life into our ever-changing diverse country.

 

           Democrats and most Americans, after fearing Biden could not deliver a cogent speech, were elated and reassured. GOPers? Not so much. Many of them booed Biden repeatedly. House GOP Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) looked glum and upset through most of the speech. And Chief GOP Provocateur Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, MTG (R-GA), went out of her way to attack Biden because an undocumented immigrant recently killed 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley. Biden told MTG that had the GOP joined Democrats in passing the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill and had not put their Trumpist party above their country, many immigrants would have had their cases resolved rather quickly. Many undocumented immigrants would not have come here in the first place or have stayed so long. Biden told MTG and others that he is no stranger to losing children. His first daughter, young Naomi, remember, was killed in an automobile accident just after Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972 along with his first wife, Neilia Hunter. Biden’s son Beau (Joseph Robinette Biden III) died of brain cancer in May, 2015 (Cohen & Cook 2022 Political Almanac, “What It Takes,” Ben Cramer, R., 1992, “Promise Me, Dad,” Biden, J., 2017). However, most GOPers have no shame about vicious heckling and nasty comments. In fact, expelled and indicted former GOP Cong., Mr. Imposter, George Santos, came to the SOTU address, which he is allowed to do as a former U.S. Representative. Santos is even planning to run again in his previous Long Island, NY district for Congress!

 

 

           President Biden, with his stellar State of the Union address, has shown he has “what it takes” to run for re-election. Now, fellow Democrats, it is our turn. We must back Biden and his whole “Team Blue” up and vote in droves plus for them in November, 2024. We must remember the key point that Biden made in his SOTU address—our democracy is on the line and it is our duty to preserve it.         

 

           

Comentários


bottom of page