Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Biden Tries to Nudge Congress

Last night, as announced, Joe Biden delivered an Oval Office address on Ukraine and Israel. He likes to do that; this was his second such speech. That puts him just one behind Barack Obama (across 8 years) and tied with Donald Trump (across 4 years). If you'd like to watch the President's remarks for yourself, you can do so here:

It's only about 15 minutes. Biden is not Bill Clinton, after all.

The main points made in the speech were as follows:

On the whole, we thought it was a strong address. We'd give it an 8.5/10 in terms of ideas, and maybe a 6/10 in terms of delivery. That said, ideas are more important than delivery, long term. See below for another example.

In general, the reviews across the non-right-wing media are good, and take the position that the President did a good job. And what are the right-wing media types saying? Well, Fox's Brit Hume, who is both moderate and generally pretty reasonable, said that it was "one of the best, if not the best, speeches of his presidency." The praise continued after that; you can read more at the link, if you wish. Sean Hannity, who is neither moderate nor reasonable, had the opposite reaction, lambasting the address as "clichéd, disjointed, back and forth." Who knew Hannity does not like a clichéd or disjointed presentation; you certainly wouldn't be aware of those preferences from watching his show. The scorn continued thereafter; you can read more at the link, if you wish. We have thoughts about which assessment is more worth listening to, but readers can decide for themselves which is on the mark.

That said, if you would like a conservative tiebreaker, The Bulwark's Jonathan V. Last has also been very liberal in his praise of Biden's handling of the situation. Here's his assessment, which was published before last night's address:

In one week Biden has:

That pretty much tracks with our thinking. But what really matters is what the purse-string-controlling members of Congress think. Maybe one day, if the House Republican Conference can elect a speaker, we will find out. (Z)

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