President Joe Biden urged Republicans, again and again Tuesday night, to work with him to "finish the job" of rebuilding the economy and uniting the nation as he delivered his State of the Union address intended to reassure a country beset by pessimism and tense political divisions.
The context of the annual speech was vastly different from the previous two years, with now a Republican House speaker sitting blankly behind Biden and GOP lawmakers who have occasionally shouted criticism of his government. and its policies.
During his 73-minute speech, Biden tried to portray a nation that has improved dramatically from the one he took the reins two years ago: From a faltering economy to a thriving one, with new jobs; from a nation paralyzed and fed up with the COVID-19 pandemic to one that has resumed activities, and a democracy that has survived its greatest test since the Civil War.
“The history of the United States is a story of progress and resilience. Always keep going. Of never giving up. A story that is unique among all nations,” Biden exclaimed. “We are the only country that has emerged from each crisis stronger than when it entered it. That's what we're doing again."
"We're not done yet, not even close," he said.
Biden sought to show the nation that his stewardship of the country has delivered results both at home and abroad, and also to demonstrate his suitability for a likely re-election bid.
From the start, the partisan divisions were clear. Democrats, including Vice President Kamala Harris, rose to their feet to applaud as Biden began her speech. The new speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican Kevin McCarthy, who had greeted the president cordially when he entered the room, remained seated.
Instead of presenting flashy policy proposals, the president offered a reassuring assessment of the state of the nation, declaring that two years after the storming of the Capitol, the country's democracy is "intact and unshakable."
He also cited areas of bipartisan progress in his first two years in office, including infrastructure spending and high-tech manufacturing. And he stated: "There is no reason why we cannot work together in this new Congress."
“People sent us a clear message. Fighting to fight, having power in order to have more power, conflict in order to have more conflict, gets us nowhere,” Biden said. "And that's always been my vision for the country: Restore the soul of the nation, rebuild the backbone of America, which is the middle class, to bring the country together."
“They have sent us here to finish the job,” the president pointed out.
IT'S JUST A MATTER OF WAITING IF BIDEN SEEKS RE-ELECTION
- The speech on Tuesday the 7th gave Joe Biden his last and best opportunity to present his arguments in favor of a re-election before any formal announcement.
- The president left no doubt that he believes he has work to do as president.
- Addressing the Republicans who just won a majority in the House of Representatives, Biden said that "the people have sent us a clear message" about the need to find common ground.
- “We have been sent here to finish the job,” he asserted.
- Although Biden often used the language of cooperation, he took some criticism of the other party, such as when he spoke about Republicans who voted against his infrastructure bill but continue to celebrate the money being used in their districts.
- "Don't worry," he commented. “I promised to be the president of all Americans. We will finance these projects. And I'll see you at the inauguration."
- Now, it's just a matter of waiting for Biden to announce his decision on whether to seek re-election. He promised that he would make such an announcement early this year.