Nice Speech, Joe

Pres. Joe Biden gave a heck of a good State of the Union speech last night. Let’s dig in.

Good energy. Biden was clearly trying to appear energetic and he pulled that off. His speech was one of the longest in recent history and his energy level didn’t lag.

It’s Parliament now. Was that Prime Minister’s Question Time? Shouts from Congress members now seem to be part of the ritual. That loss of decorum is to be lamented, but it actually played to Biden’s advantage as he gave as good as he got. Either he baited Republicans into pledging not to cut Social Security or he reacted quickly on his feet. Either way he won the exchange.

Finish the job. It wasn’t clear what Biden’s theme was. Wait a minute. I think it might be “finish the job.” The clue is that he said it 136 times. This is smart for three reasons. First, the Republicans are going to block any new initiatives anyway. Second, he can spend the next two years reminding people what he’s already accomplished. And third it sends a signal to his fellow Democrats to cool it with the unpopular hard-left stuff.

McCarthy looked painfully civil. New Speaker Kevin McCarthy clearly tried to be the stern parent. As his more unhinged members cat-called at the President, McCarthy gently shook his head or mouthed a “shush.” Let’s see if he can rein them in when it really counts in the debt ceiling debate.

Nice job, Joe. No joke. I’m serious.

Small ball. Resort fees are a thing? I guess they are. At points in the speech it felt like Biden was about to promise to track down your lost bag at O’Hare and then make sure that United gave you a full refund and an upgrade on your next trip. Yeah, sort of trivial for the Leader of the Free World to include in his most important annual speech, but frankly, stuff like the national debt is an abstract. And ya know what? If Biden wants my vote he can do something about those damn ATM fees!

Way to go, Mitt. Sen. Romney scolded the creepy Rep. George Santos for having the gall to stand on the aisle trying to shake hands with everybody who walked by. Romney apparently told him he shouldn’t have been there. And by “there” Romney meant in the House chamber, in the House, in Washington, on planet earth.

Partisan bipartisanship. Biden did a masterful job of calling for bipartisanship while taking his share of partisan jabs, like pointing out that Republicans who voted against the infrastructure bill are still showing up at ribbon cuttings for roads and bridges in their districts. But overall his call for working with the other side came off as genuine, backed up by a long career of doing just that. It puts Republicans in a corner if they go too partisan, especially over the debt ceiling.

Huckabee’s hiccup. The Republican response from new Arkansas Governor and old Trump apologist Sarah Huckabee Sanders was pretty thin soup. I’m as much a critic of woke as anybody, but really you guys? You want to run an entire national campaign over pronouns? Talk about small ball.

Bottom line, it was a very good night for Joe Biden.


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

One thought on “Nice Speech, Joe

  1. You must have seen a different speech than I did. Joe was pumped up on drugs making him speed read, slur, angry, yell, lie, and cocky; whereas Sarah was calm, cool, coherent, and told the truth. Joe has never been acquainted with the truth. “It’s normal vs. crazy,” as Sarah said. And, yes, McCarthy was the grownup in the room while Kamala caught her husband having a thing for Jill.


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