The speech: GOP loses the “incompetent” talking point

President Joe Biden closed his State of the Union address by taking on the elephant in the room — his age.

President Joe Biden delivers State of the Union

The fact that this came more than an hour into his speech was itself a win, that he got that far with vigor, energy and passion.

He acknowledged that he has been around a long time, but lightly revealed when he was elected to the Senate at 29, he was thought of as being too young.

I await to see how right-wing radio and TV will try to portray him as confused, dazed, and doddering. He was not.

Not to say he doesn’t have those moments — he does.

But that is not the complete story.

Maybe neither was Thursday night.

Although he was there to state the state of our nation, he opened with foreign affairs, and a vigorous demand than the U.S. stand by Ukraine in its death struggle with Putin’s Russia.

He said he would stand against Putin, while his predecessor — as he repeatedly referred to Donald J. Trump — gave Putin a free hand to attack members of NATO.

“We will not walk away. We will not back down,” he said.

He then pivoted to domestic enemies — those who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“You can’t love your country only when you win,” he said to cheers from Democrats.

Along the way he slurred words several times, when he spoke too fast, and had a few brief stumbles.

Mixed in with attacks on some Republican positions, he offered a laundry list of Democratic “likes” — gun control, reproductive rights (which truly are nonreproductive rights), minimum wage, voting rights, fighting cancer, controlling AI, retail crime, carjacking, marijuana, tax the rich.

A couple of times he effectively jousted with jeering Republicans — when he clearly knew this would be coming, as he did last year when he outmaneuvered Republicans on Social Security.

Toward the close, he turned toward the briar patch of the Mideast and deftly walked a tightrope.

He pledged continuing support for Israel, while offering humanitarian aid to Palestinians. He called for a cease fire — but only a temporary cease fire, to allow for hostages to be released, and for aid to come in. He called on Israel to cooperate.

In a key domestic point, he pointed to a thriving economy (which most Americans don’t feel), a gain in jobs, low unemployment, all of which he called “the greatest story never told.”

That may be where the GOP can pounce, and will have to, because they lost the narrative that Biden is an incompetent shell. 

28 thoughts on “The speech: GOP loses the “incompetent” talking point”

  1. He may sound okay but that doesn’t make him okay. It just makes him better than Trump. And that ain’t sayin’ much.

      1. You mean like picking up a turd by the clean end? I will not vote for either. I deserve better, and so do you.

  2. Wow! That was quick! The speech was more partisan than I’ve ever heard in a SOTU. But as was his first term in office, there was a bit more good than bad.

      1. I have no comment on fact checking, political positions, motivation. We disagree on delivery. If I read it right, what you called vigor, energy & passion I see as same the phony “tough guy”, C’mon man!, finger pointing, desk pounding technique Joe who whooped up on tough guy Popcorn… used these dramatics for years but amped up. Recall his tough on crime Bill speech from late 90’s, his arguing his mental abilities years ago based on his degrees, class standing etc. Disingenuous. but all those phonies are disingenuous, watching their pre-speech interactions in the chamber is enough for me, it’s all in their game——we’ve both been around long enough to spot ‘em. Joe’s passion does make me want to try a hyperbaric chamber, or whatever other help he was given.

  3. Excellent recap, Stu, and astute assessment.

    I was equally impressed.

    One question from afar: why are Americans so uninformed (or misinformed) on the state of the economy. All the numbers are favorable: from GDP to unemployment, from newly created jobs to 2% inflation. Where is the disconnect?

    1. I think it is price levels. People are still in sticker shock. That they are making more also, and that more people are working doesn’t change that. “Dollar Stores” don’t have anything for a dollar, and like the “5 and Dime” stores of the past, the name remains only to remind us of their origin.

      People who, like me (and Stu) lived through the “stagflation” of the 70s, are, or ought to be, I think, sighing in relief that inflation cooled so quickly. This is nothing like Nixon’s (attempted) wage and price controls or funds impoundment, Ford’s ineffectual WIN (Whip inflation now!) or Carter’s “National malaise” lack of success versus inflation. Taming it in one term is pretty impressive. Or, maybe not, since economists are pretty confident that it was the Covid supply chain disruptions that triggered it, so with those dissipating, fiscal and monetary policy were better able to contain it and get us to a “soft landing” (that is, cooling inflation without throwing the economy into the recession many were expecting.)

      Interest rates and home prices are still high, but economists are expecting them to come down over the year. That expectation is already “baked into” the stock market prices, which is why it continues to go up despite high interest rates–plus, despite their sticker shock, consumers are spending like they have plenty of money.

      Doubtless Biden hopes things will sink in before the election.

      I get all this, but on a personal level, I find myself continuously outraged at the prices: $5 for THAT, really? So that’s what I think the dissatisfaction is about. Of course, I’m still angry that paperback books went up from 75 cents to $3.25 between my freshman and senior year of high school during the 70s.

  4. He read a 20 minute speech in 1hour and 15 minutes and he didn’t do it well. He has been hiding and rehearsing for days to read a speech from a teleprompter. All of the Trump haters were scared to death he was going to screw up big time. Meanwhile the rest of the country is walking on egg shells wondering what he’s going to screw up next. His presidency has been a great failure and the people have been suffering from his incompetence. Is hate blinding you from reality that you can’t see how he is destroying the country.

    1. You obviously cannot tell fact from fiction, genius. Just look at the numbers. You are a brainwashed Faux “News” cypher.

      1. The problem with the country is we are being over run by assholes like you who can’t see what is happening right in front of their eyes. I’m hoping the people with common sense still out number the idiots.

      2. Just ignore Daniel. He is an angry, deluded, and brainwashed. He’s only on Stu’s blog because he gets his jollies showing everyone what a true MAGAt looks like.

        1. Lol ! You are an elitist snob windbag with no common sense or moral compass. Real people don’t pay attention to phonies like you.

  5. Baloney.
    What Uncle Joe proved last night is that an incompetent shell can read.

      1. Stu’s only requirement for president is that he can read. But be incompetent at everything else.

  6. Seems worth repeating Obama’s one smart sentence, “Never underestimate Biden’s ability to screw up everything.” He is reported to have said that about his own VP, who he selected! Goodness me. We all knew Biden was a weak and terrible VP selection for the nation after his 30 plus years of being a creepy fool making wrong decisions in Delaware.

    And in biblical terms: Obama begat us Biden who begat kooky, inept K. Harris, and Biden also begat us the least qualified Supreme Court Justice from the pool of highly qualified candidates.

    I suppose those voters who voted for Obama for skin deep reasons rather than for significant and pertinent experience, mature wisdom and substantial character for the presidency started the ball rolling downhill faster and faster.

    Maybe raising the voting age quite a bit could help us elect much more qualified politicians to strengthen the US, instead of weakening our country?

    In closing, didn’t we all miss that peevish seditionist Pelosi, “who prays for all of us everyday,” up there with her school girl’s righteousness tearing up this really stupid and highly inaccurate word salad speech?

    1. No, Kavanaugh & Gorsuch are 2 of the worst justices ever, along with the corrupt Clarence Thomas. BTW, while Biden is aging (which is normal) Trump is becoming increasingly demented. Listen to his speeches especially when he goes off script. He can’t even finish sentences. He makes deluded statements like “there’s languages coming into the country nobody understands” He still confuses Pelosi with Haley and Biden with Obama. Biden is more physically & mentally fit than the obese, intellectually bankrupt & morally corrupt Trump, who is the greatest threat to American democracy.

  7. Biden camp can’t have it both ways. When he reads a kick-ass script he is A Game Joe. But when he testifies before bully Hur, he is a fumbling, nervous victim just like any ordinary citizen unfamiliar with such pressure. The truth lies somewhere in the syringes that get him up for key moments and later render him comatose for bedtime. His gait suggests something serious, but he can prevail, braver than the braced FDR, smarter than the community college professor acting as his service dog .

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