The State of the Union address is customarily a must-see television event for me. Even though there was an absence of a State of the Union address last year, I did not look forward with eager anticipation to one being presented in 2022. As did most Americans, I skipped the live telecast this year. Instead, I made plans for last Tuesday evening that did not involve wasting an hour of my life to watch what I anticipated to be one of Joe Biden’s typical lackluster, uninspiring, divisive speeches. While I did, however, read through the content of the transcript of the State of the Union later in the week, the written word does not have the same effect of taking in a live performance of any speech. Much is lost, such as inflection of voice, cogency (or lack thereof) of delivery, and audience reaction.
But judging by some of the coverage of the speech by the corporate media, Biden’s live presentation was less than stellar. For example, in the aftermath of his address, there was a flurry of mainstream news articles combined with plenty of sanctimonious criticism from left-wing pundits concerning Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s heckling of Biden during his address. When the heckler gets the headlines, that’s pretty much a telltale sign that the main performance was not exactly riveting. Yet another indicator of Biden’s failed delivery was that Newsweek published an article on the very night of his address, entitled, “Biden Gaffes Cloud SOTU Speech as He Mixes up Iranians and Ukrainians.” The Newsweek article, by Aila Slisco, points out that Biden’s gaffes “drew immediate ridicule” on social media. Additionally, Vice President Kamala Harris’ mortified facial expression during Biden’s blunder also appears to have been a hit on social media. See, Video of Joe Biden Saying ‘Iranian People’ rather than Ukrainian Viewed 1M times, by Gerrard Kaonga, March 3, 2022, newsweek.com.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s physical reaction during a portion of Biden’s address to the nation garnered a lot of ridicule on social media as well, namely video footage of her strangely smiling at an inappropriate time and rubbing her knuckles together in an odd fashion. Perhaps her erratic behavior was simply a result of the presence of the ghosts of Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton joining her, since Pelosi believes the spirits of these suffragists have visited her in the past. See, Nancy Pelosi’s ghostly encounter, by Clare Kim, Aug. 9, 2012, nbcnews.com. Who knows? In any event, while I do not regret skipping this year’s live broadcast of the State of the Union address, it does sound as though it might have been mildly entertaining if it had included real-time commentary in the fashion of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Satire aside, the Biden-Harris administration’s display of gross incompetence in leadership over the course of the past thirteen months, makes it unsurprising that most Americans view Joe Biden’s first year of his presidency as a failure. See, A majority says that Biden’s first year was a failure, a new poll finds, by Domenico Montanaro, Feb. 25, 2022, npr.org. Hopefully, for the nation’s sake, his second year at the helm will be an improvement over his first.