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Takeaways from Joe Biden’s State of the Union address

from CNN, March 8

President Joe Biden delivered a raucous third State of the Union address, one that could be among the most important speeches he gives during his presidency as he turns toward reelection.

His list of objectives was long: Tout his accomplishments in office, look ahead to a second-term agenda, allay concerns about his age and fitness and provide a contrast with Republicans, including his rival Donald Trump.

The result was a fiery speech that bore little resemblance to his States of the Union past. Intent on displaying his energy and eager to engage with Republicans, Biden delivered a starkly political speech that his aides hope can ease Democratic jitters about his political prospects.

Here are five takeaways from Thursday’s State of the Union:

Biden takes on Trump

Biden may not have uttered his predecessor’s name during his remarks, but there was little question that Trump was at the center of the State of the Union, making Thursday’s speech a particularly politically tinged yearly address.

It was reflective of the extraordinary political moment Biden finds himself in, where the political norms of the past decades – ones Biden has openly pined for – have been largely swept aside.

The president took multiple swipes at Trump; his prepared remarks referenced “my predecessor” 13 times as Biden seized the bully pulpit, one of the advantages of incumbency.

In the very opening of his speech, he referred to “my predecessor” while lambasting the former president for his statement about encouraging Russia to invade NATO members who don’t meet defense spending targets.

Shortly after, he went after election lies following the 2020 election as the “gravest threat to democracy” since the Civil War.

By then, a pattern had emerged: on abortion, immigration, taxes and more, Biden repeatedly made the contrast with Trump, with Democrats in the audience backing him up with cheers.

Read the full article HERE.

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