President Biden to give his first State of the Union address on Tuesday
Both The Washington Post and USA Today on Monday gave final pleas to President Biden to boast in his State of the Union address about how much better the country has been since he took office.
USA Today’s Jill Lawrence opened her op-ed remarking how Biden should open his speech emphasizing that the state of the union is “resilient” and that Americans who think otherwise should “snap out of it.”
“I know, I know. President Joe Biden can’t start his State of the Union address that way. But I’d love it if he did. I’m looking for fire and resolve – the kind of steeliness we’ve seen as he has dealt with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked, surreal yet tragically real war on Ukraine,” Lawrence wrote.
Although she acknowledged several issues, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawrence insisted that the nation was “better off than it was two years ago” and dwelling on these factors would be a “disservice.”
“But dwelling on pain, or lamenting the polarization that divides us, would do the country a disservice. It’s time for tough love. We have problems, but we also have the resources, ideas and often the will to solve them,” Lawrence wrote.
Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson similarly began his piece imagining Biden having the courage to admit that the state of the union is “much, much better.”
“I doubt President Biden will use those exact words in his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night — not with inflation still in the headlines — but they encapsulate the truth,” Robinson wrote. “Biden has not solved all the problems of the nation or the world in his first year in the White House. But he has done a heck of a lot.”
Although Robinson acknowledged Biden’s now-record low levels of approval, he attributed them more to the president’s overpromising and political division rather than any missteps by the administration.
“In part, that just demonstrates the absolutist nature of our partisan divide,” Robinson wrote. “In part, it reflects the fact that Biden and the Democrats overpromised by heavily touting the benefits of the Build Back Better spending package, which they lacked the votes to pass — and then spent more time talking about what they couldn’t do than what they’d already done.”