Watching State of the Union addresses is one of my least favorite parts of what I do at TPM. I find them a mix of tedious and stressful to watch. By and large they don’t matter. I’d prefer not to watch them. But it’s part of the job. This was very different from any of the State of the Union address I’ve seen in forty plus years of watching them.
Joe Biden isn’t a particularly rousing public speaker normally. The first ten or fifteen minutes of his address were fairly boilerplate, occasionally halting. The substance was pitched toward mid-sized and small towns in post-industrial America. This was unsurprising but well-executed. But then it went somewhere entirely different, not in substance but in presentation and tone.
I don’t need to describe the speech to you because you presumably saw it. Here are the two points that stood out to me.Read More