WASHINGTON — At the start of union his speech Tuesday night. President Joe Biden was apt to declare that the state of the union is strong.
And when he’s done, he’ll make a case that he deserves a large share of the credit.
.The 2024 presidential race looms large over Biden’s State of the Union address.
Even though he has yet to announce whether he is running for re-election. With a captive audience that gathers once a year, he won’t miss an. Opportunity to explain why voters should give him a second term.
Biden will use the speech to reach a larger audience that may be interested. Only in politics and policy and reassure members. That he has plans that will shorten their commutes. And lower their prescription drug bills, a person close to White said. . House Dr.
That would take some doing: An todaystrend News poll last month found. That only 31% believe Biden is a competent and effective president. While 71% say the country is on the wrong track.
Tuesday is a chance to sway the skeptics, his advisers hope. Audiences in the state have shrunk over the years amid growing political polarization. And the breakdown of news media. Yet viewership remains broad: Last year, 38 million people. Tuned in to Biden’s speech, and 16 networks carried it live. That’s more than three times the television.
audience for last fall’s Astros-Phillies World Series final game.
Once the speech is over, Biden and his cabinet will travel across the country to spread the message. The next day, Biden will travel to Madison, Wisconsin to discuss his jobs plan. While Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Atlanta to talk about clean energy. All told, Biden, Harris and the cabinet will visit 20 states in a post-speech blitz. That seeks to capitalize on the megaphone at the behest of a sitting president.
“This is the year and the message where the president needs to establish his governance. And campaign narrative: what his presidency means for the public good. And why they should give him their support,” said Martha Kumar. professor emeritus at Towson University and an expert on White House communications. “If he doesn’t, then by next year Ron DeSantis, the presumptive Republican nominee. “And Donald Trump will define him by his failure as they see it.”
The message Biden will deliver is that the economy is in better shape. Than when he took over from Trump, and that America’s foreign alliances are now stronger. Because of his diplomatic initiatives, according to a White House official.
“I can’t imagine him announcing at the State of the Union that he’s running for re-election.” Said Randy Weingarten, president of the American. Federation of Teachers and a Biden ally. “You’ll hear why in the State of the Union.”
Biden’s second State of the Union address promises to be somewhat of a balancing act. Over the past two years, he has toggled between taunting Republicans. And courting them as he has worked to advance his policies. last week, he told an audience of Democratic activists that the GOP was “in shambles.”
On Tuesday, he will likely show a more bipartisan face, making the point.
That the two parties can achieve much more if they work together, the White House official said. Biden continues to examine some themes he could use. Including that the United States is superior. When it comes to economic and geopolitical influence — something both sides can appreciate.
“It’s a good opportunity for Whitey to present his path to the president.” Said Rep. Josh Gottheimer, Democrat of New Jersey. “It should have an optimistic and upbeat tone.”
Still, the prospect of a major bipartisan breakthrough seems remote. Sitting behind Biden in the House chamber will be the new speaker. Republican Kevin McCarthy — not Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who lost her leadership. Role when her party lost its majority in the midterm elections.
House Republicans have little incentive to work with Biden. And burnish his record before the 2024 election. Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who is the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Told a conference of conservative activists last August that the GOP-led investigation. Into the Biden administration “will help shape the nation in 2024. When I hope and President Trump is going to run again.” , and we have to make sure he wins.”In the face of a divided Congress, a more realistic focus for the back half of Biden’s term will be implementing. The trillion-dollar spending packages he has signed into law. Said some who have worked with him.
“Some of the important things that will happen in the second half of the term are being done based. On that priority,” said David Kamin, a former. Member of Biden’s National Economic Council. The prospect of a more ambitious.
Bill passing through a bipartisan vote “looks bleak right now.”
Not that Democratic interest groups are giving up. In the run-up to the speech, the president’s allies have been holding private. Meetings with White House staff and urging Biden. To use the forum to hammer out unfinished pieces of his agenda.
They hope the speech will build momentum behind several initiatives on Capitol Hill. Proposals to curb police abuse, protect voting rights and provide. Undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship. Biden need only look to the House gallery for painful reminders of police violence. Among the guests will be the parents of Tyre Nichols. Who died days after he was beaten by police in Memphis, Tennessee.