State of the Union: Will Biden Resonate?

Americans have been dealt a hand with two candidates, neither of whom they particularly think should be President. Nonetheless, barring Trump being criminally tried, convicted and imprisoned before November, which has become more and more unlikely the past few months, Americans will have to choose between them.

So there's a lot riding on Joe Biden's speech tonight. I have not seen the draft, but I suspect like almost everything he does, he will land in the center, disappointing those with firm convictions at either extreme.

He's not going to come out against the death penalty, in favor of removing border walls or cutting back on prisons or cessation of jailing non-violent offenders, or even for federal legalization of marijuana. If he supports lowering pot from a Schedule I substance to a Schedule 3 substance, he is still missing the point. Marijuana should be removed from the controlled substance list entirely. Now that would be progress. [More....]

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State of the Union 2023: "Let's Finish the Job"

Update: I think this might have been Biden's best speech. I watched almost all of it, changing the channel only when he started talking about crime, fentanyl and the border, to keep my blood pressure in check. He actually seemed real, likeable, and sincere for minutes at a time.

He was so energized. At first I wondered if he had received a B-12 shot this afternoon, but he seemed as happy as he was energized, so I decided probably not. I think he practiced a lot, had a very good speechwriter, stuck to the script with a minimum of ad-libbing, and was enthused talking about his accomplishments. After he got away with his trick of baiting the handful of radical far-right Congresspersons in the audience over Medicare and Social Security, there was no stopping him. It was like watching a comedian who is tickled pink when he makes his audience laugh for the first time.

*Original Post*:

Joe Biden will deliver his State of the Union address tonight. You can watch everywhere. This is the transcript of his speech as prepared. [More...]

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State of the Union: Biden-Style

Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address tonight.

In a speech that focused on the war in Ukraine before pivoting to domestic challenges, Biden said the American people are ready for the task ahead of them in keeping the world united in the face of autocracy.

“Now is the hour, our moment of responsibility. Our test of resolve and conscience, of history itself. It is in this moment that our character is formed. Our purpose is found. Our future is forged,” Biden said in closing.

“Well, I know this nation. We will meet the test. To protect freedom and liberty, to expand fairness and opportunity. We will save democracy. As hard as these times have been, I am more optimistic about America today than I have been my whole life.”


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State of the Union Thread

I just tuned into the State of the Union. How's Obama doing? Does he have anything new to say?

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State of the Union

How is Obama doing? I'm just tuning in to the State of the Union. (Added: the full text of his speech is here.)

Update: Obama seems re-energized, confident and relaxed. Other points:

Lots of red states, blue states, United States stuff.

Criminal Justice: The crime rate and numbers of prisoners has declined at the same time. We need to keep reforming our criminal justice system. He uses the example of a father whose son is harassed by police, and a woman waiting for her police officer to come home after his shift. It seemed like there was louder applause for the police officer's wife.

It's time to close Gitmo." (He actually says Gitmo rather than Guantanamo.)[More...]

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SOTU 2014

President Obama delivers his State of the Union Address. Here's a place for your thoughts.

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State of the Union Prequel

President Obama's State of the Union speech is tonight. He's expected to lay out a strategy for getting around Congress to implement some of his goals.

Obama will make clear in his 9 p.m. (0200 GMT Wednesday) address that he is willing to bypass U.S. lawmakers and go it alone in some areas by announcing a series of executive actions that do not require congressional approval.

..."What you'll hear in the speech tonight is very concrete, realistic proposals as it relates to wages, as it relates to education, as it relates to training, high-tech manufacturing, retirement security, those are the things that he's focused on," White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said on NBC's "Today Show."

He will mostly focus on economic issues and once again ask Congress to act on immigration reform, and of course, he'll plug ObamaCare. [More...]

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State of the Union 2013

President Obama is about to deliver his State of the Union Address. Here's a thread to discuss it.

No ABC for me. They started out showing all the people there supporting more gun control. And then said they will show updates of Dorner on the bottom of the screen.

You can watch online here, free of talking heads and news anchor commentary. [More....]

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State of the Union Theme: Economic Unfairness

President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address tonight. It's theme is Economic Unfairness . (Update: Transcript here.)

"We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by,” he will continue. “Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.

He'll remind us once again that in his view, this is not a Republican or a Democratic issue, but a U.S. issue. I hated that line in his 2008 campaign (no red states or blue states) and I doubt I'll like it much more tonight.

What’s at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them.”

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Prepared Remarks for State of the Union

Big Tent Democrat will be here to share his thoughts on the President Obama's State of the Union address which begins at 9pm ET. Until then, here's the speech as prepared for delivery and sent out by the White House.

He doesn't seem to think much of the proposed plan to seat Dems and Republicans together:

What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.

There's a lot of bipartisan talk:

With their votes, they’ve determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.

Obama has a new target: Medical malpractice reform "to rein in frivolous lawsuits." Of course, that's nothing new. He voted for it while in the Senate and pushed it in 2009.

With 45 minutes to go, here's a place for your pre-speech concerns.

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Grading SOTU: Post-SOTU Open thread

For the most part, I thought President Obama's State of the Union address was excellent. The TL kid and I decided we'll give the President an A and the speech an A-. (Update: CBS poll: 83% of Americans approve the proposals in the speech)

The reasons the speech isn't getting an A: His reference to:

  • Allowing (only)those who "play by the rules" to contribute
  • "Those who obey the law should be protected by the law." Everyone should be protected.
  • No commitment to closing Guantanamo and repatriating those who haven't been charged
  • No commitment to criminal justice reform
  • Vague on intentions for social security

Obama gets an "A" because of the leadership he displayed, his passion in delivering the speech and the confidence he inspired in us. We think our Government is in good hands.

How would you score the speech and the President?

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Full Text of President Obama's SOTU Address

Here is the text of President Obama's SOTU Address as prepared for delivery:

Office of the Press Secretary
January 27, 2010

Madame Speaker, Vice President Biden, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Our Constitution declares that from time to time, the President shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. For two hundred and twenty years, our leaders have fulfilled this duty. They have done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they have done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggle. [More...]

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