Washington Post, USA Today call on Biden to claim America ‘better’ and ‘resilient’ in State of Union address

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Both The Washington Post and USA Today on Monday gave final pleas to President Biden to boast in his State of the Union address about how much better the country has been since he took office.

USA Today’s Jill Lawrence opened her op-ed remarking how Biden should open his speech emphasizing that the state of the union is “resilient” and that Americans who think otherwise should “snap out of it.”

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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: U.S President Joe Biden gives remarks at a Black History Month celebration event in the East Room of the White House on February 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. The event was attended by members of President Biden’s Cabinet, the Congressional Black Caucus, state and local elected officials, and Civil Rights and Faith based leaders. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 28: U.S President Joe Biden gives remarks at a Black History Month celebration event in the East Room of the White House on February 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. The event was attended by members of President Biden’s Cabinet, the Congressional Black Caucus, state and local elected officials, and Civil Rights and Faith based leaders. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“I know, I know. President Joe Biden can’t start his State of the Union address that way. But I’d love it if he did. I’m looking for fire and resolve – the kind of steeliness we’ve seen as he has dealt with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked, surreal yet tragically real war on Ukraine,” Lawrence wrote.

Although she acknowledged several issues, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawrence insisted that the nation was “better off than it was two years ago” and dwelling on these factors would be a “disservice.”

“But dwelling on pain, or lamenting the polarization that divides us, would do the country a disservice. It’s time for tough love. We have problems, but we also have the resources, ideas and often the will to solve them,” Lawrence wrote.

Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson similarly began his piece imagining Biden having the courage to admit that the state of the union is “much, much better.”

“I doubt President Biden will use those exact words in his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night — not with inflation still in the headlines — but they encapsulate the truth,” Robinson wrote. “Biden has not solved all the problems of the nation or the world in his first year in the White House. But he has done a heck of a lot.”

FILE - President Biden speaks as he announces Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Cross Hall of the White House, Feb. 25, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

FILE – President Biden speaks as he announces Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Cross Hall of the White House, Feb. 25, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Although Robinson acknowledged Biden’s now-record low levels of approval, he attributed them more to the president’s overpromising and political division rather than any missteps by the administration.

“In part, that just demonstrates the absolutist nature of our partisan divide,” Robinson wrote. “In part, it reflects the fact that Biden and the Democrats overpromised by heavily touting the benefits of the Build Back Better spending package, which they lacked the votes to pass — and then spent more time talking about what they couldn’t do than what they’d already done.”

While he recognized inflation is at its highest rates in four decades, Robinson boasted about several achievements of the Biden administration, including the lifting of various mask mandates, though many have questioned the timing of these decisions. 

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Both Robinson and Lawrence praised Biden’s recent nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court – which he announced shortly after the start of Russia’s invasion – in a push to make her the first female Black justice. They also maintained that regardless of the circumstances, Americans are better off without former President Donald Trump.

The chamber of the House of Representatives is seen at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022, where President Biden will deliver his State of the Union speech Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress and the nation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The chamber of the House of Representatives is seen at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022, where President Biden will deliver his State of the Union speech Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress and the nation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“For four long years, Americans woke every morning to a fresh barrage of insanity, inanity and insults from the president and his administration. Now, everything is so normal as to be almost boring,” Robinson said.

Recent polls placed Biden at only 37% approval rating with 54% of Americans believing that Biden does not have the mental capacity to serve as president.

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