State of the Union: Will it be Biden’s most consequential speech?

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

President Joe Biden will address Congress and Americans tonight when he delivers the State of the Union address. In what could be the most consequential speech of his term, Biden will try to assuage doubts of the dispirited electorate around his age and fitness to run for office. He will be closely watched for not just his message but for whether he can deliver his speech with vigor and command the room.

White House aides said that the president will highlight the accomplishments of his first term as president, particularly around the post-Covid economic recovery. He will also lay down the administration’s plan for his second term, including revamping the tax code, expanding housing supply, and reducing the federal budget deficit.

“Since the president took office, the economy has added nearly 15 million jobs. The unemployment rate has been below 4% for two full years at a time when inflation has come down by two-thirds. Wages have risen by more than prices and are higher than before the pandemic and we are seeing a small business boom,” White House domestic policy adviser Neera Tanden told reporters on a press call. “Lowering costs for working families is his top economic priority.”

The primary results on Super Tuesday, which effectively consolidated the 2024 elections into a two-man race, the State of the Union address tonight allows Biden to kick off his general election campaign.

White House aides and Biden’s campaign are hoping for fresh viral moments like when the president tussled with heckling Republicans during last year’s State of the Union address. House Speaker Mike Johnson is hoping to avoid this and in a private meeting this morning, urged Republicans to show “decorum” during the speech. Trump, who will not be present tonight, said that he plans to respond to Biden’s speech in real-time on Truth Social.

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