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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Biden energetically highlights nation’s issues in annual address, contrasting “sleepy” persona

President+Biden+exemplifies+competence%2C+power%2C+and+commitment%2C+in+his+annual+speech
Graphic by James R Prizant
President Biden exemplifies competence, power, and commitment, in his annual speech

On Mar. 9, President Joe Biden addressed the nation in the annual State of the Union speech at the United States’ capitol. 

In what is debatably the most important speech of career, the nation not only listened to what he said but also how he said it, as many worry about Biden’s capabilities given his age; some even insultingly calling him “Sleepy Joe.” Despite these critiques and insults, Biden delivered a powerful, well-structured address that spoke on many of the American people’s concerns, especially those of the Democratic party that Biden is a part of.

The speech began with Biden emphasizing the importance of “this moment,” how it was no “ordinary moment” in American history; he said over and over again, “History is watching.” He spoke about how America was being attacked. Overseas, the nation’s democratic values were being threatened via the Russo-Ukrainian War. Domestically, insurrectionists threatened American democracy on “Jan. 6” when they, “…placed a dagger in the throat of American democracy” when they stormed the capitol.

Immediately, Biden promoted his nation’s values and vowed to aid Ukraine for the sake of democracy and criticized the insurrectionists of the opposing party, gaining mass applause that almost never seemed to stop. Not only that, but Biden used countless rhetorical tools to deliver both this part and the rest of his speech, including repetition, the rule of threes, statistics, personal experience, rhetorical questions, and so on. Such powerful words in just the first few minutes of his speech seemed to immediately destroy any doubts the American people may have had about his capabilities as a speaker and a president.

You can’t love your country only when you win. When America gets knocked down, we get back up; we keep going. That’s America. That’s you, the American people. Tonight, we can proudly say, the state of our union is strong and getting stronger.”

— Joseph “Joe” Biden, President of The United States of America

Regarding the Republican party, Biden often criticized them and questioned their patriotism. Biden said, “You can’t love your country only when you win,” referring to Jan. 6. He even refused to mention Donald Trump by name, only ever referring to him as, “my predecessor.” As for more of his own party’s liberal values, Biden promoted a wide assortment of goals and ideas throughout this speech. This included abortion rights and research in women’s studies, taxing corporations and the rich, creating jobs and low unemployment, transgender rights, racial equality, environmental greenness, an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Palestine, and even curing cancer.

“Clearly, the number one goal Biden and his team had going into the State of the Union [address] was to show that he’s energetic, that he will fight on behalf of his voters and their issues and that age is not an issue for him,” US History teacher Pankaj Sharma said. “He had a raised voice, an energetic tone, and he looked to go off script whenever the Republicans were trying to give him a hard time. He seemed to relish that. I assume that he could do that again. He covered many different topics to appeal to a wide range of voters. I think [the State of the Union address] is a great way for students to see what the priorities of the president are and what the key political issues in the 2024 election will be.”

According to Biden, there have been many positives under his campaign: significant funding on climate change, a 50 year low on unemployment and violent crime, establishment of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, and so on. More than that, if Biden is to be reelected, he wishes to diminish and/or end many of the ongoing issues in America: the “scourge against women” and restrictions on abortion, carjacking, lack of background checks for gun purchases, and more.

And as for himself, in order to restore much of his reputation, Biden needs to keep that energetic, charismatic, and awesome persona he had when he gave his annual address. With so much to do in the upcoming months, possibly years, American liberals and democrats can only hope that their current president will remain victorious in November. The people can only hope Biden will keep the promises he made to his people on Mar. 9, the day he gave his first term’s last State of the Union address.

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About the Contributor
James R Prizant
James R Prizant, Asst. People Editor
James "Jimmy" Ryan Prizant is a junior at Niles North. In his free time he enjoys bowling, scrolling and chatting through socials, and listening to '80s music on Spotify. He one day hopes to have a job relating to mental health, writing, or bowling.

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