President Joe Biden exhorted Republicans over and over Tuesday night to work with him to “finish the job” of rebuilding the economy and uniting the nation as he delivered a State of the Union address meant to reassure to a country beset by pessimism and fraught political divisions.
The backdrop for the annual address was markedly different from the previous two years, with a Republican speaker sitting expressionless behind Biden and GOP lawmakers in the audience preparing to scrutinize both his administration and his policies, AP writes.
But Biden sought to portray a nation dramatically different in positive ways from the one he took charge of two years ago: from a reeling economy to one prosperous with new jobs; from a crippled, pandemic-weary nation to one that has now opened up and a democracy that has survived its biggest test since the Civil War.
“The story of America is a story of progress and resilience. Of always moving forward. Of never giving up. A story that is unique among all nations,” Biden said. “We are the only country that has emerged from every crisis stronger than when we entered it. That is what we are doing again.”
He added: “We’re not finished yet by any stretch of the imagination.”
Biden sought to reassure the nation that his stewardship of the country has delivered results both at home and abroad, as he also set out to prove his fitness for a likely re-election bid.
But the challenges for Biden are many: economic uncertainty, a wearying war in Ukraine, growing tensions with China and more, according to AP. And signs of the past trauma at the Capitol, most notably the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol, was unavoidable, with a large fence encircling the complex as lawmakers and those in attendance faced tighter-than-usual security measures.
© Copyright LaPresse