Biden's State of the Union Address: a united West?
In his first State of the Union Address, US President Joe Biden not only addressed his own people but also emphasised the West's unity against the Russian attack on Ukraine. Commentators take stock of the speech and express relief that Biden's predecessor is no longer in office.
The Reunited States of America
Der Standard is impressed by Congress's united response to the address:
“All those present in the hall rose to their feet. ... A standing ovation by Republicans and Democrats. United. In the US. There hasn't been anything like it in a long time, and it probably won't happen again any time soon. ... Some Republicans are probably secretly glad that it wasn't Donald Trump standing before them and once again praising the 'genius' of Vladimir Putin, but the geopolitically experienced Biden. ... Biden made repeated allusions to the ailing US democracy. That was his message to politicians at home: Let this be a warning to you.”
Without Biden things would be even worse
US President Joe Biden is having a unifying impact not only in the US but also internationally, comments Dagens Nyheter approvingly:
“Since Russia's attack on Ukraine, a democratic alliance has formed. It is above all a reaction to Putin's ruthlessness and the courage of the Ukrainians. But the fact that the invasion has not just provoked strong joint condemnation, but also joint action is largely thanks to American leadership. ... The importance of this broad support for democracies can hardly be overestimated. ... The situation in Ukraine is dreadful. The ground beneath Europe is shaking. Without Biden in the White House, the darkness would have been even deeper.”
Not being Trump is not enough
The taz newspaper found the speech uninspiring:
“Biden had nothing to say about the Ukraine war that we didn't already know - this was not the way to make headlines around the globe. And the obvious meta-theme, the struggle between authoritarianism and democracy, has been so heavily exploited in domestic politics that Biden shied away from making it the central message of his speech. ... If he at least had convincing ideas on the national agenda. But since two senators from his own party overturned Biden's key promises with the 'Build Back Better' programme, not much more can be expected there. The speech will soon be forgotten and Biden will be reduced to the quality that made him president: not being Donald Trump.”