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State of the Union Address | Biden will try to lift America’s spirits



(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, 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 to members of Congress, each turn of which has been weighed a thousand times.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has thrown the world into dread and uncertainty, the 79-year-old Democrat will want to proclaim “his faith in the resilience and strength of the American people”, said his spokeswoman Jen Psaki, interviewed by ABC on Sunday.

This weekend, two simultaneous announcements on the sidelines of this State of the Union address offered a snapshot of the Biden presidency, which since January 2021 has gone from meager respites to major crises.

Without masks, with barricades

First announcement: in accordance with new instructions given at the national level, wearing a mask will be optional within the Capitol at the time of the speech. The 79-year-old Democrat will therefore be able to boast to open-faced parliamentarians about his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, whose noose finally seems to be loosening.

Second announcement, much darker: the barricades which protected the building for six months after its attack, on January 6, 2021, by supporters of former President Donald Trump, will return, temporarily, for the speech of the President.

What cruelly remind Joe Biden 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. (1 a.m. GMT Wednesday).

According to the latest survey published by the ABC chain, its confidence rating – which began to drop last summer after a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan – fell to only 37% among Americans exasperated by a sharp rise in inflation. and weary of the pandemic.

Joe Biden himself seems to have more and more difficulty, during his public appearances, playing with conviction this warm optimism which has become, in more than forty years of political career, his trademark.

” Heritage ”

He will however have to try to revive the confidence and joy of living of an entire people, he who is hardly at ease in great oratorical flights.

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

On the international level, faced with the invasion of Ukraine, Joe Biden has so far succeeded in resolving the ties between the United States and their Western allies.

But many Republicans accuse him of lacking a firm grip in the face of the brutality of Vladimir Putin. And domestically, the president had to bury two major campaign promises, failing to exploit the wafer-thin majority Democrats have 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.

The Democratic president himself, who says he wants to run again in 2024, is already thinking out loud about the memory he will leave.

In an interview broadcast Saturday on YouTube by Brian Tyler Cohen, a progressive political columnist, he said: “I hope my legacy is to return some decency and honor to the office of President, to return the middle class a real chance of success, of rebuilding our battered international alliances, and of bringing people together. »

“I think we’re only making slow progress on some of these aspects,” he acknowledged.

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