quotes Dissecting US President Biden’s State of the Union Address 2023

14 February 2023
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Updated 14 February 2023

Dissecting US President Biden’s State of the Union Address 2023

The State of the Union Address — an American political tradition — is a message from the president to citizens on the issues facing the country.

While many observers point to the waning power of the Office of the President of the US, witnessed by the impeachment and the possible prosecution of one of its holders — namely ex-President Donald Trump — many American presidents still use it as a platform for their administration’s plans.

President Joe Biden was no exception as he tried on Tuesday, Feb. 7 to launch his political agenda and perhaps prepare the ground for his reelection campaign in 2024.

While Biden attempted to make his speech a balance between domestic politics and foreign policy, it was obvious that he focused more on local American political issues.

On foreign policy, he ignored Iran, and did not mention anything about that country despite its strategic challenge to the US and many other countries in the world.

Biden took a strong stance against big corporations. He said, quite candidly, that many large companies in America make huge profits, but do not pay taxes to the federal government.

Biden was optimistic about the state of the US economy despite the economic hardships many American families are experiencing now.

It seems that Biden is carrying on programs of the so-called big government, with spending to prop up the US economy.

He said: “We’ve already created, with your help, 800,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs — the fastest growth in 40 years.”

He also acknowledged some of the difficulties Americans have to confront. “For example, 1 in 10 Americans has diabetes. Many of you in this chamber do and in the audience. But every day, millions need insulin to control their diabetes so they can literally stay alive.”

However, Biden does not want to implement sweeping reforms in the American political system. He prefers to play the political game by the old rules of Washington.

He is not a radical reformer. The problem with Biden is that despite his long career in the US Senate, as the senator from the State of Delaware, his presidency is intertwined with the tenure of Barack Obama.

Therefore, he cannot really proclaim that a new era in American politics has emerged. The end of Obama in the White House brought about the presidency of Donald Trump.

No one knows whether the Democrats will keep the White House after the end of the first term of the Biden administration in January 2025.

Many Americans believe that Biden’s promises and citation of achievements are superficial. They are not sympathetic toward him.

Biden can impress the American people with strong rhetoric and verbal assaults on China and Russia, but this may not be the case with audiences in other countries.

Delivering the Republicans’ response to Biden’s speech, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the governor of Arkansas, said: “Americans want common sense from their leaders, but in Washington, the Biden administration is doubling down on crazy.”

There was some substance on foreign policy in Biden’s speech. He demonstrated determined opposition to China. He also lambasted President Vladimir Putin as a warmonger.

But it was not clear to millions of people around the world which foreign leader was Enemy No. 1 for President Biden — President Xi Jinping of China or Putin of Russia.

Although hostile to both China and Russia, it remains unclear whether Biden will be able to continue an aggressive policy of containing two huge countries that have many political, military and economic resources.

Biden took advantage of the spy balloon dispatched by China over the US to commit his administration to further hassle and threaten China.

Nevertheless, he seems unwilling to confront China in a way that could deter her from staging further balloon-type actions.

Biden projects the image of being more reactive to Chinese threats, rather than being proactive by hitting China with punitive economic or military actions.

Biden can impress the American people with strong rhetoric and verbal assaults on China and Russia, but this may not be the case with audiences in other countries.

There is also the possibility of the Republicans opposing Biden on China and Russia. This is why a Republican senator inquired why Trump was not told about previous Chinese balloons launched into the skies of America.

This suggests that Biden relies on the deep state in America to dictate his policy on China.

This leaves one political dilemma unresolved which is the absence of any talk on Iran.

Does this signal the intention of the deep state in America to sign a political deal with Tehran over its nuclear activities? No one knows at the moment.

There were many issues left unaddressed in Biden’s State of the Union Address, which could turn out to be big political surprises in the near future.

Faisal Al-Shammeri is a political analyst. Twitter: @Mr_Alshammeri