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Joe Biden goes to Full West Wing and LBJ in speech to Congress – Review – Deadline

“Good to be back!” were Joe Biden’s opening words tonight in his first address to a joint session of Congress, sort of.

It probably wasn’t the rambunctious speech to Congress that the creature of Congress would never have thought to give when he first announced he would run for President for the third time in 2019. Yet on the eve of his 100th day in office, a big government pushing Biden, to paraphrase former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, took the moment he was handed over, not the one he might have wanted or wished for.

“In another time when our democracy has been put to the test, Franklin Roosevelt reminded us that in America we are doing our part,” Biden proclaimed, adding at the end of the speech a little over a hour. “That’s all I ask. That we are all doing our part.

Joe Biden calls on Congress to pass ambitious jobs and tax plans in a bid to reorient the economy

Seeing the crises of recent years as an opportunity to take the reins of a historic cycle, Joe Biden was all about doing his part in what a pivotal 99th day in his administration.

Entering with a mask and addressing the uncrowded and echo-filled House of Representatives chamber, the once-in-office Delaware senator clashed with both his former main rival Bernie Sanders and to GOP Representative Liz Cheney as he walked to the podium. Behind him were two women who made history – Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris, the first female Speaker of the United States House and first Vice President of the United States.

Undoubtedly taking the old adage of “ good preparation prevents poor performance ” to the political heart of recent weeks, the 46th President of the United States today lamented that when he took office, “the house America was on fire ”and now said,“ I can report to the nation: America is on the move again.

Adhering to Covid security protocols in what was likely a fully vaccinated room, Biden faced a selective and socially distanced crowd of 200 on Wednesday. That’s well down from the audience of 1,600 people his predecessors faced on such occasions. The Maskless Biden also spoke to the First Lady, Dr Jill Biden, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, an elected ensemble, a cabinet duo and Chief Justice John Roberts.

It could have been a tough crowd.

One of the last true retail politicians, the 78-year-old Commander-in-Chief has never been a great room speaker, even in a crowded room in the House. Yet despite a slight comeback from his well-known stuttering, Biden sold his big show by raising his voice when needed, reducing it to an almost whisper when he wanted, and leaning towards the camera lens when. he needed it. insist on one point.

Still, the scene succeeded at the nearest media thumb, even with a number of commercials, and with all the hallmarks of an unmentioned victory lap as well as the start of a crusade, Wednesday’s speech reached largely its objectives.

“He’s like LBJ, without the curse,” MSNBC’s Joy Reid correctly noted earlier today. “I’m going to give you a government that you can see and touch,” Reid added in a summary of Biden’s program.

Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the economic and social crisis in the country, Biden has gone from openly calling himself a transition figure during the campaign, to a transformative figure embracing much of progressive populism.

“During our first 100 days together, we have acted to restore people’s faith in our democracy to deliver,” he said, in an effort to show that his program enjoys popular support across the world. party lines, even if Republicans in Congress disagree. .

“We are vaccinating the nation. We are creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. We are producing real results that people can see and feel in their own lives. Open the doors of opportunity. Guarantee equity and justice. It is the essence of America. It is democracy in action.

Having started to change the DC dynamic of the past 40 years with the passage of the US $ 1.9 trillion bailout through a slim majority and reinforced by vice presidents in the Senate, Biden does not look back. towards an American plan for jobs focused on infrastructure and the broad plan of American families then. At around $ 2 trillion and $ 1.8 trillion respectively, the unequivocal and ambitious proposals are expected to be funded by tax hikes on the rich, a long-standing progressive priority with strong support in the polls. .

Given the upheavals of the past year, including the pandemic, racial calculus, economic turmoil and the Capitol uprising, Biden’s speech was also a look to the future beyond crises.

Aiming for greater society, so to speak, the man first elected to the Senate while LBJ was still alive pledged to end cancer as we know it, to fix immigration, to embrace the dreamers, to revitalize the fight against violence against women and to fight against discrimination against Africans. Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and LGBTQ Americans. “To all the transgender Americans watching at home – especially the young people who are so brave – I want you to know that your president is supporting you,” he said.

Parts of his speech could have been written by Aaron Sorkin, as Biden went through a list of ideals from West wing: End child poverty and gun violence, rethink the social safety net, assert American power abroad but end the nation’s involvement in Afghanistan, expand health care, fight climate change, rebuilding roads and schools, etc.

Unlike his former boss and the unmentioned Barack Obama, and before him, Bill Clinton, the current Democrat in the White House was as unapologetic in his speech as a Jed Bartlet or Andrew Shepherd in flight. Senator Tim Scott called it all “a takeover in Washington” in his rebuttal for the GOP. A fine line, but the South Carolinian seemed to be fighting a battle the other army had already planted a flag on and left behind.

Not officially a State of the Union, Biden’s remarks tonight were covered live on all broadcasters, all new cable companies, C-SPAN, BBC America, Univision, Telemundo and others, as well as online.

Of course, as one would expect in a democracy, not everyone was on the same page.

In the immediate moments before the president entered the chamber, Fox News rallied its target market with another attack on its remaining son and Tucker Carlson pulling on the Tory base. If this message was missed, the channel owned by Rupert Murdoch had “Other Networks love Joe; Ignore Hunter Scandals ”on its lower third of the screen.

Backed by solid poll numbers, Biden has more than just love for the network, and he clearly wanted to use tonight to turn that into political muscle before next year’s midterm.

In a call to arms and action speech on “winning the 21st century,” ex-lawmaker Biden praised the assembled and absent “all of you” for helping to reverse the chaos and denial of the reality of the previous administration. Even the perennial and sometimes sleepy Texas presidential hopeful Ted Cruz stood up and applauded Biden’s call for more Americans to get vaccinated. However, as soon as he was on Fox, Cruz generally raged against the “radicals and socialism” of Biden’s speech.

On Thursday, Biden will hit the road in traditional sales jobs following such a speech, including visits to political King’s Landing in Georgia and Pennsylvania, the state of his birth. Often mocked during Obama’s years for his blunders and lengthy remarks, a sharp Biden tonight looked like he was in his element – literally, as he would put it.

After the speech was over, Biden stayed behind to chat with members of both sides and clearly appreciate him.

Against this background, tonight’s speech to some members of Congress may not have been the speech Joe Biden, around 2019, thought he would deliver. In a world that has changed dramatically, it was a gamble that was the one Americans wanted to hear.

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