President Joe Biden will deliver the State of the Union address tonight amid rising tensions with China and stagnant poll numbers.
President Joe Biden will deliver the annual State of the Union address tonight amid rising tensions with China and stagnant poll numbers ahead of his expected reelection campaign.
- The nationally televised address comes days after a Chinese spy balloon breached U.S. airspace and traversed the Lower 48 before an F-22 jet shot down the dirigible over the Atlantic Ocean. The President’s handling of the airborne intruder has earned bipartisan criticism and his address is expected to address the incident and defend his decision-making.
- At this year’s speech, President Biden will be sharing the dais with a Republican for the first time as President. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will be seated behind the President next to Vice President Kamala Harris after Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives.
- An AP-NORC poll taken on the eve of his address offered dismal numbers for the incumbent. A mere 37 percent of Democrats want the leader of their party to seek reelection, a 15-point drop since AP-NORC last polled voters in Oct. 2022. The poll found 41 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s job performance, and only 22 percent of voters think he should run for reelection.
- A Washington Post-ABC News poll also had dreary results for the White House, with 62 percent of Americans saying Biden has accomplished “not very much” or “little or nothing” during his two years in office. An astonishing 41 percent of Americans say they have become less well-off financially since Biden took office, the highest percentage the Post-ABC poll has ever recorded for that measure since they began asking that question in 1986.
- The State of the Union will likely be a soft launch of sorts for Biden’s fourth presidential campaign. The President is expected to kick off his reelection bid in the coming weeks.
- President Biden plans to call for a new $35-per-month cap on insulin prices for all Americans. Democrats included a similar cap in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act for Medicare beneficiaries, which went into effect in January.
- According to Politico, Biden will also reiterate his call for bipartisan immigration reform in the address. Less clear, however, is whether the President will address the end of Title 42, the Trump-era public health policy allowing the federal government to turn away asylum-seekers at the border.
- Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, America’s youngest governor and the former press secretary for then-President Donald Trump, will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union. Rep. Juan Ciscomani of Arizona will deliver the G.O.P. response in Spanish.
- The State of the Union will air at 9:00 pm EST and will be broadcast live on all the major networks. An estimated 38.2 million people tuned in to last year’s speech.
- The New York Times dropped a brutal profile of Biden’s understudy on the eve of the State of the Union. Per the Times, “dozens of Democrats in the White House, on Capitol Hill and around the nation — including some who helped put her on the party’s 2020 ticket” think Vice President Harris has not risen to the challenge of proving herself as a future leader of the party, much less the country” and some confided to reporters that they had “lost hope in her.”
- The Washington Post’s Philip Bump postulated about whether Biden could rerun his successful 2020 playbook in 2024 considering “Joe Biden is president largely because Donald Trump was president.” Biden may have been “palatable” to more voters in 2020, but even so, “that might not be enough for Biden to win again.”
- Axios reported the White House believes Biden’s challenges are “as much about perception as reality” and want Biden to use his speech to “tell his story” and “make the case directly” to the voters. The President is expected to highlight promising economic numbers and call for new taxes on the wealthy and corporations along with an expansion of the Child Tax Credit.
- Fox News wrote Biden has been “battered” by “a series of domestic and foreign policy crises” since his last State of the Union. The ongoing surge of migrants at the southern border, the escalating war in Ukraine, the classified documents affair, and most recently the Chinese spy balloon contretemps have all weighed on Biden’s second year as president.
- National Review highlighted some more bad numbers for Biden in the ABC News-Washington Post poll, including the eye-popping stat that 62 percent of Americans say they would be “dissatisfied” or “angry” if Biden wins in 2024. Trump leads Biden in a hypothetical rematch according to the poll, 48 percent to 45 percent.
- The Wall Street Journal reported Biden will travel to Wisconsin and Florida in the days after the address. The President’s visits to two pivotal swing states are a not-so-subtle sign he’s readying his campaign – especially a trip to Florida, the home state of the two leading Republican presidential contenders, former President Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis.
© Dominic Moore, 2023