President Joe Biden spoke to Congress about how things are going in the U.S. The speech was unremarkable, and the president believes that this is just what the American people want.
President Joe Biden’s annual State of the Union address failed to garner major headlines and was even overshadowed in the U.S. news cycle by the earthquake in Turkey. This may have suited Biden just fine. Public speeches are not Biden’s forte, and he doesn’t suffer from the same dependence on publicity as his predecessor, Donald Trump. The message of Biden’s low-profile presidency is that the country is better off when citizens don’t have to worry about what’s happening in Washington at every moment.
In his speech, Biden carefully sidestepped major controversial issues and focused on the everyday concerns of ordinary Americans, such as Social Security and health care. That didn’t stop congressional Republicans from interrupting him with angry heckling. But the president just seemed to enjoy it, as he wants to create the image of a stable president quieting down cantankerous Republicans.
At the moment, Americans are quite concerned with their own issues — so Biden said little to burden the audience with world affairs. A tough China policy and support to Ukraine will continue.
As president, Biden has focused on correcting the Democrats’ mistake of forgetting the party’s white working-class supporters. Biden’s economic policy is populist, his immigration policy is tough, and his trade policy is protectionist.
The U.S. economy is showing good signs, with inflation slowing and unemployment falling to 3.4%. The public is still not convinced. In a recent poll, 58% of respondents were dissatisfied with Biden’s economic policies.
The president’s answer to these concerns is to continue resolutely forward. Biden is expected to announce this spring that he will seek a second term in the White House. “Finish the job,” Biden repeated — as if testing his future election message.