Did State of the Union Change Voters View Biden?

  • By Brandon Drennan
  • BBC News

President Joe Biden delivered an intense State of the Union address Thursday, working to counter a narrative that has dogged his re-election bid — that he's too old for the job.

American political pundits and analysts called his nearly 60-minute speech “fiery” and “powerful”.

Mr Biden, 81, is the oldest sitting president, and polls show his age is often on the minds of American voters.

We asked members of our American Electoral College, many of whom supported Biden but expressed concern about his age, whether his speech affected how they view him.

image source, Aylon Gibson

Aylan Gibson, Alabama, Democrat

A 21-year-old economics student at Morehouse College, a historically black university, Aylan voted for the first time in the last election.

I am concerned about his age. He is my grandmother's age and I know what my grandmother looks like.

But yesterday we saw a fiery speech from him that gave me more hope. He showed us that he can still be quick on his feet. He delivered a few blows to the Republican hecklers, and it was great.

I would definitely vote for Joe Biden even if he has age related issues and problems.

Biden went on to deliver a black woman to the Supreme Court. He fought against the loss of protections through the overturning of Roe v. Wade. He has done everything he can to cancel his student loan debt.

image source, Darlene Buhler

Darlene Buhler, South Dakota, Republican

“Fire” was the fashionable word for what he was wandering about. He seemed insane and came across as a grumpy old man.

For me, the expectations and the bar were set too low. It was like, “Let's hope he gets through this and doesn't stumble off the stage”. He's more coherent than I've heard him in the past.

So the question is, do I think he can handle another four years? I don't think so. Shame we don't have an age limit.

If I had to choose between him and Donald Trump, I'd choose Trump, the lesser of two evils. I don't feel that President Biden or the Democratic Party has done enough for black people. They expect to get our votes automatically. They have to earn.

image source, Amy Kalogerinos

Amy Kalogerinos, New York, Independence

Amy, 42, has voted for both the Democratic and Republican parties in her lifetime.

I think this is the best speech President Biden has ever given in his entire career. Before yesterday, I had a doubt. But I don't question his ability after last night's speech.

He's pounding the stage, he's very tough and he's yelling — the American people are responding to all the things Trump does. He presents it differently and I think it resonates.

I am an adult, right or wrong. I think both candidates are too old.

I voted for Biden in 2020 and will vote for anyone but Trump in November. Overturning Roe v. Wade is for me.

image source, Michael Dunkley

Michael Dunkley, New Jersey, Democrat

The State of the Union speech was perceived as a propaganda speech designed to improve his mental acuity.

He diplomatically chided his predecessor for his language and actions that deepened political divisions in this country.

As much as I like Biden, I believe he is too old to continue leading the country. But if Trump wins, his term will age him.

We need young people to lead this country.

Karen Kemp, Connecticut, Democrat

Karen, 48, voted for Joe Biden in 2020. He was worried about how he would perform on stage.

I was concerned that Joe Biden would not be able to combat the widespread perception that older people are often held to be of no benefit to society.

I thought he would stumble and lose his train of thought. But he showed potential and experience.

His State of the Union address boiled down the choice Americans face in November and drew stark contrasts between a party and a man who wants what's best for this country, and a former president with a starkly different, often unfavorable view.

I don't have to love my president, but I don't have to be ashamed of who they are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *