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State of the Union Address | Biden will try to boost the morale of Americans

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(Washington) While the world is caught in the storm of the war in Ukraine, it is an unpopular Joe Biden and burdened by several bitter political failures who will try on Tuesday to raise the morale of Americans despite everything, in his very first speech on the State of the Union.

This major ritual of American political life sees the president deliver a speech each year before Congress, each turn of which has been weighed a thousand times.

If the exercise usually focuses on domestic issues, the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin will obviously prevail this time.

This war comes to test one of the great promises made by the American president: to be the champion of democracies against authoritarian regimes, the unifier of the allies of the United States.

“People can expect him to [évoque] the importance of the United States in leading the defense of international values ​​and norms,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday.

Joe Biden would no doubt have preferred to evoke a sort of return to normal for Americans weary of the pandemic and demoralized by a sharp surge in inflation, more concrete than the triumphant statistics on growth or employment in the United States.

For this, he could have relied on a strong image, giving hope that the noose of COVID-19 is finally loosening: that of parliamentarians without masks, the wearing of which is now optional within the Capitol.

But upon arriving at the imposing building whose white dome is visible from afar in Washington, the president will be confronted with another, darker vision: the barriers that protected the building for six months after its attack on January 6, 2021. , by supporters of former President Donald Trump, returned for his speech.


PHOTO STEFANI REYNOLDS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The barricades that protected the Capitol for six months after it was attacked on January 6, 2021, by supporters of former President Donald Trump, will return, temporarily, for the speech of President Joe Biden.

What cruelly remind the president that his promise to reconcile an ultra-divided America is very far away, while again on Saturday, Donald Trump was cheered by his fans during the great annual convention of American conservatives.

It is a deeply unpopular president who will speak on Tuesday evening at 9 p.m.

According to the latest poll published by the ABC network, his confidence rating – which began to drop last summer after a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan – has fallen to 37%.

Joe Biden himself seems to have more and more difficulty, during his public appearances, to play with conviction of this warm optimism which was until now his trademark.

” Heritage ”

To his credit, the 46and However, the President of the United States has had some successes: he has launched a massive infrastructure investment plan, he has just appointed a black woman, Ketanji Brown Jackson, to the Supreme Court for the first time…

But the president had to bury two big promises, for lack of a solid enough majority for the Democrats in Congress.

Joe Biden, who may well lose this majority in the legislative elections in the fall, has failed to pass either a pharaonic social spending program or a profound reform of electoral law, supposed to protect access for African-Americans. at the polls.

In his speech, he will nevertheless give pride of place to economic and social projects, according to the White House. Exit, however, the big abstract plans, make way for more targeted and above all more concrete announcements, on maritime freight, on retirement homes, or on green energy.

Joe Biden, who has not broken, far from it, with all the industrial orientations of his Republican predecessor, should also plead without complexes for the relocation of activities and jobs in the United States.

But it will take more than a great speech to the president – who is not a flamboyant orator, he is the first to recognize it – to lift the paradoxical spleen that weighs on America.

According to a poll published at the end of January by the Gallup Institute, 85% of Americans say they are satisfied with their own lives, a level close to the highest level ever. But only 17% believe their country is moving in the right direction.



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