Last night, President Joe Biden gave a televised speech marking the one-year anniversary of the week the pandemic brought much of the United States to a screeching halt. Rarely do I watch presidential speeches, typically preferring to read the transcript later, but I made an exception last night, for I wanted to see this one for myself. I’m glad I did.
It was so wonderful to see a president who both spoke and acted like a President, who articulated and spoke in whole sentences without rancor. His message was positive, but cautiously so. There was no braggadocio, no ranting, no finger pointing or facial contortions, no hateful rhetoric, no self-promotion … just a man with a message of hope.
I don’t wish to dwell on the comparisons of the former guy’s speeches to Biden’s speech last night, but the contrast was so stark that one cannot help but note a few differences. Biden’s tone was even, but not without passion. Not once did he point a finger of blame at any person or group, not once did he raise his voice or make a Nazi-style fist. And, perhaps most importantly, he did not say that he alone could fix this, but instead he said …
“I will not relent until we beat this virus. But I need you, the American people. I need you. I need every American to do their part.”
This, my friends, is how a real president acts and speaks. This is what we have missed so badly for the past four years.
Midway through his first 100 days in office, Biden might have been tempted to use his first nationally televised speech merely to take a modest victory lap over the passage of the nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package that he signed into law earlier on Thursday, but he did not. Instead, mixing empathy with hard realities, he provided a blueprint for returning the country to some sense of normalcy by summer, while appealing to all Americans to help him make it happen. He did not sugar-coat our situation, but his message was one of hope.
President Biden’s approval rating stands today at 53.1% … one that eluded the former guy for his entire four years during which he never once even reached a 50% approval. We now have a president … let’s hope Congress can find a way to work with him for the sake of this nation and We the People.
In case you missed the speech, The Washington Post has provided a full transcript.