The president spoke non-stop for over an hour, stuttered only a few times (I, too, am a stutterer and would not have done nearly as well as he did!), and gave a passionate, intelligent, well-reasoned speech. There were one or two points on which I might have disagreed, but not strongly. I have some views on his speech, as I’m sure those of you who watched it do, and I’ll share them here, and be happy to hear what you thought, as well.
First, over the past several months, I have heard many say that President Biden is too old for the job, that his mental acuity is declining. Folks, let me tell you something … if you watched the speech last night, there can be no doubt that he is as sharp as ever! I could not have given a speech for that long, incorporated that much, and still had the stamina to shake hands with a few hundred people as I tried to leave the building! He knew what he wanted to say, was passionate in his views, empathetic where empathy was called for, and he was strong where strength was needed! He made no bones about the divided Congress and some of the Republican antics, and he plainly stated that if certain bills came to his desk, he would veto them!
He did something that has not been done before, as far as I know, in the history of State of the Union Addresses … he gained bipartisan agreement to an issue. He garnered a verbal agreement to take cutting Social Security and Medicare off the negotiating table in cost cutting discussions connected to raising the debt ceiling. That, folks, may not seem like much, but believe me … it is.
He had energy, he had passion, he has a strong desire to overcome the partisan obstacles that are hindering this nation. Those who say he is too old … think again. Yes, he is old and in that, my biggest concern would be that something – a stroke, heart attack, or death – would overtake him at some point, but … John F. Kennedy was the youngest president when he was elected in 1960 … and look what happened. To those who claim he is too old and shouldn’t run again, I ask you this: Who better?
Give me a name … tell me who else you see out there who could not only win an election in 21 months, but also lead this nation as well as President Biden is doing? I can think of a number of younger Democrats who, at some point in the future, might well be excellent presidential material: Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Hakeem Jeffries come to mind almost immediately. But not today. First, none have the name recognition nor backing, the political capital, that would be needed to propel them into the Oval Office. Second, given the rising climate of bigotry, propelled by many Republicans such as Ron DeSantis … well, you see the problem. Of those three, one is LGBTQ and the other two are Black. No, it shouldn’t matter … it really doesn’t matter … but it would quite probably be enough to keep them from winning the election in 2024.
I hate that presidential elections now last for the entire two years prior to the actual election. It means a number of things: we are deluged with campaign ads and requests for donations for two full years; our elected officials are too busy campaigning for the next election to do their jobs now; the dynamics turn on a dime and the potential candidate who is ‘on top’ today may sink to the bottom tomorrow based on one leaked piece of information, whether fact or fiction. It’s like being on an out-of-control carousel! That said, it doesn’t change, so we must face the reality and prepare for it.
If the Democrats continue bemoaning President Biden’s age and occasional stutter, if they keep saying he shouldn’t run, that he isn’t mentally sharp, yet they have no better option, they are in effect handing the 2024 election to whichever Republican candidate becomes the nominee, likely Ron DeSantis. The Democrats need to bite the bullet, such as it is, band together and throw their full support behind the president. If they fail to do this, the party will be too divided to make an effective showing in 2024 and will hand the presidency to the Republican Party.
President Biden was impressive last night … his record of accomplishments, coupled with his strong address last night prove he’s still up to the task of leading this nation. He is intelligent, and of equal importance, he is a genuinely good person who cares deeply about people — ALL people. Unless Democrats have an HiH (Hero in Hiding), a John F. Kennedy or some other candidate with “the right stuff”, then they need to unite behind the candidate who has already accomplished much and who has what it takes, despite his age, to get the job done.
So … what did you think of his speech?