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The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

Stakes Are High For Biden’s Third State of the Union Address

Photo- Shawn Thew (Reuters)

Just last night, President Biden delivered his third State of the Union address to congress. Behind him on the left was VP Kamala Harris, and new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, who took office last October after previous speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted.

In his speech, Biden covered a wide range of topics, starting with the war in Ukraine. He condemned former President Trump for his comments encouraging Putin to do “whatever the hell he wants,” and contrasted it with Reagan’s staunch anti-Russian stance.

Biden went on to give his say on numerous nationwide topics, including IVF treatment access and the Dobbs Supreme Court decision which limited abortion access in 2022. The president never directly referenced Trump by name, only calling him his “predecessor.”

Throughout the speech, a good number of disturbances interrupted Biden’s already seemingly lagging flow. Nearing the end of the event, a heckler made Biden pause mid-sentence by shouting, “remember Abbey Gate!” in reference to the death of his son during the 2021 Afghanistan bombings in which the US withdrew troops from the country. Biden has been widely criticized for his handling of the situation.

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Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was also present at the event sporting a red jacket to match her Trump 2020 campaign hat. As Biden was walking to the podium, Greene handed him a button stating “say her name, Laken Riley,” in reference to a University of Georgia nursing student who was killed by an undocumented Venezuelan immigrant. Biden was then pressured to say her name as he held up the button due to heckling from Greene. The handling of the immigration crisis has also been a large point of contention for Biden’s detractors.

Biden’s acknowledgement of Greene’s heckling but absence of other important topics left some viewers confused.

“I zoned out and thought that [button] was a Zyn pouch,” senior Andrew Colasanto stated, referencing the popular Swedish nicotine pouch brand. “I’m surprised he [Biden] didn’t bring up AI though.”

Senior Andrew Colasanto poses for his State of the Union Watch Party- something encouraged by many Government teachers
Credit- Miguel Tsang

While he had to take care of household chores during the speech, social studies teacher Mr. Stefan Przywara couldn’t help but catch on to the dash of political campaigning sprinkled throughout most of Biden’s talking points. His marketing strategies appear to have shifted in his eyes though.

“I think he [Joe Biden] was really making an effort to sell himself,” Przywara noted. “Part of his appeal, at least compared to Donald Trump, was the fact that four years ago he was seen as somebody who was more willing to be bipartisan and work with those across the aisle. He did not really touch on bipartisanship as much though, which is difficult.”

However, some of Przywara’s concerns relating to Biden’s mental sharpness were stifled during his speech.
“What stood out to me was his willingness to engage and go back and forth with the Republicans in the audience… he was getting some zingers in,” he observed. “And I think that showed he still has the ability to think on his feet.”

As per the New York Times, ratings for the event were up 18% this time, likely due to it being an election year.

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About the Contributor
Miguel Tsang
Miguel Tsang, Co Editor-in-Chief
This is senior Miguel Tsang's third year writing for The Wire. Not only the president of West Po's Asian-Pacific Americans Club (APAC), he’s also active on the Crew and Debate teams. He is excited to be back in journalism to keep up with current events, and help other people to do the same. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the violin, traveling, and planning for the next APAC meeting and talking about Nope ;).

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