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A Look Into the 2024 Election: Biden’s State of the Union Address

President Biden delivering the State of the Union Address
The Nation
President Biden delivering the State of the Union Address

On March 7, 2024, President Biden delivered his State of the Union Address, an annual message delivered by the president of the United States to a joint session of Congress on the current condition for the nation (United States Senate)


It was clear that this address was written to set up Biden’s campaign for the upcoming presidential election in the fall, mentioning former president Trump, who is likely to be the Republican candidate in the upcoming election, as “my predecessor” thirteen times. He spoke confrontationally and with intensity. His overt passion, along with other actions he took, such as taking the time to greet everybody in the room while entering and leaving, were likely scripted to address one of the main concerns facing his campaign: his age. At 81, he is the oldest president in US history, and this fact is one of the main arguments opponents use against his campaign (BBC).


Biden addressed many of the main issues facing the country right now, opening his speech with a call for military aid to Ukraine, but the bulk of his foreign policy discussion focused on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. He leaned toward topics that would energize his base, such as abortion, gun control, and tax hikes on the wealthy. Additionally, he challenged the Republicans in the chamber on issues like border and crime. 


Ramapo American history teacher Ms. Sibilia notes that “Biden was very direct and clear on the message he wanted to convey, maybe not as alarming or as well received as JFK’s State of the Union address delivered January 30th, 1961, only ten days after taking office. Either way it is hard to predict what effect his State of the Union Address will have on election day, but it was definitely written to showcase his agenda”. 


While the speech was met with heavy applause from supporting viewers, there was also the occasional heckling, most notably from representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, and several other sources saying the address seemed “more like a political convention” than a run of the mill State of the Union Address (NPR). Ramapo student Xavier Gilsinger noted, “Personally I’m indifferent to his State of the Union speech since it’s not meant for campaign purposes and, at least for me, he did an average job, but I do feel as though some of his wording was more Republican leaning than what it should have been, being that he is a Democratic president”.  


Overall, the address marks the beginning of Biden’s campaign for the 2024 election, and it gives us an insight into what the main focal points of the November 5th vote will be.

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