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Mar 09, 2024 / 07:21

State of the Union address as campaigning address

Delivering the annual State of the Union address is always a rare opportunity to reach a very broad audience in the US.

US incumbent president Joe Biden delivered his last annual State of the Union Address in his present presidency only two days after primaries and caucus on the so-called Super Tuesday. His presumptive rival, former US president Donald Trump, was the de facto presidential candidate of the Republican Party. Still not jet officially, but Joe Biden is already as good as being nominated by the Democratic Party. The 2020 rematch is already shaped. This year's annual State of the Union address might be his last one if he loses the coming election. Joe Biden himself isn't a media-active US president. Delivering the annual State of the Union address is always a rare opportunity to reach a very broad audience in the US. That is why Joe Biden wanted and has had to use this gold opportunity for campaigning. 

 US former president Donald Trump (L) and US incumbent president Joe Biden. Photo: AFP/VNA 

And so did he. He shifted into assault mode, of cause against Donald Trump whom he mentioned 13 times during his 68-minutes speech without saying the name Donald Trump. Americans have never before seen Joe Biden so aggressive and combative against Donald Trump, so clear and concrete in what he said, did, and would do. He listed his achievements and portrayed the US and society in very good shape. He made big promises for the second presidential term. He condemned Russia for the war in Ukraine. He deterred China. And reaffirmed his support for Israel but at the same time increased America's pressure on Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek a cease-fire agreement in Gaza for humanitarian relief and pushed for the so-called "Two-States Solution" of the Israeli-Palestine conflict. And he frankly referred to his age. Altogether, he made his possibly best speech of his life. For his election campaign, he did the absolutely dead right thing and most Americans saw a totally other image of their incumbent president.

Joe Biden used this year's State of the Union address to win back Muslim voters who believe that he tolerates Israel's warfare in the Gaza Strip and to disperse any doubt about his age and his health. He tried to persuade America's voters to believe that a second term for him would be necessary, right, and better for America than another presidency of Donald Trump. He did it by deepening the basically profound differences between Donald Trump and himself both mentally and politically.

With his address, Joe Biden is finally awakened from lethargy and officially declaring election war against his predecessor. And from now on, America will sink deeper and deeper into the dirty swamps of the presidential election campaigns. 

Disclaimer: The reflections expressed by Ambassador Tran Duc Mau are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Hanoi Times.