The Journolist Is Already Spinning the Speech Joe Biden Hasn't Given Yet

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

I’m looking forward to tonight’s State of the Union Address more than any sane or decent person should, but only because it’s snowing here on the Front Range so I’ll be breaking out one of the better scotches for tonight’s drunkblog.

It ought to be lots of fun and I hope you’ll join me for it, starting around 8:45 Eastern tonight.

But why bother watching (the drinks are mandatory regardless) when the Journolist members of the infotainment industry have already laid down the Party line for us?

The first item on the Party line is that even though Presidentish Joe Biden will be giving a major primetime address on a broad range of issues to a joint session of Congress, this is not actually a State of the Union Address.

Journolister-in-good-standing Caroline Linton was first to parrot today’s pravda for CBS News:

Mr. Biden’s speech will not be designated a State of the Union address. In fact, the previous six presidents did not call their first message before a joint session of Congress the State of the Union, according to the Congressional Research Office. These speeches, given in the first few months of a new presidency, typically occur soon after the inaugural address. As a result, every president since Ronald Reagan has chosen to call their first speech before a joint session of Congress — which is generally more foreword-looking than the speeches that come in the following years — something other than a State of the Union Address.

Within hours, CNN had sicced both Adam Levy and Ethan Cohen on the non-story story: Why Biden’s speech to Congress is technically not a State of the Union address.

At almost the same time, Jason Mendoza for USA Today: Why Joe Biden’s speech is not officially the annual address.

I’ve been following State of the Union addresses and speeches called “something other than a State of the Union Address” since I was 11 years old, when Ronald Reagan gave his first not-SOTU.

Admittedly, I was a weird kid.

That inarguable fact aside, in all these years I can’t remember another instance of the press ganging up to tell us that a president’s first major address is not actually a SOTU.

If you’re starting to think that they’re doing so to lower the bar, so am I.

I do expect President Porchlight to do just fine tonight, actually — grading on a generous curve, that is.

Biden has given a couple of major speeches (plus two debates) since the virtual Democratic National Convention last summer. He’s good for up to an hour, then fades quickly, so I’m expecting tonight’s not-SOTU to clock in at under 60 minutes.

We’ll see if his delivery style has recovered any, but I’m not counting on it.

Biden’s speaking style has degraded over the last year. He often speaks as though his saliva glands are in overdrive, which makes me wonder if that’s a side effect from something Dr. Feelgood might be giving him to pep him up for those 60 minutes. And while Biden was never a terrific orator, it wasn’t until recent months that his attempts at drama consist of nothing better than barking out a few words loudly and angrily before going back to his now-familiar overly-moist mush-mouth style.

“Overly moist” might also be a fair description of the infotainment industry’s pre-scripted “analysis” of tonight’s not-SOTU.

Biden’s inaugural address in January was a prime example of everything I just reminded you about regarding his degraded public speaking skills. Even so, Fox News host Chris Wallace called it “the best inaugural address I have ever heard.”

Andrea Mitchell described Biden’s barking effort as “really important and optimistic, hopeful but confronting.”

Professional suck-up Jake Tapper said it was a “beautiful demonstration of the steadfastness of that democracy.”


Expect more “analysis” just like that later tonight, no matter that the content of Biden’s not-SOTU will either be an hour-long moderate figleaf for his radical agenda, or an hour-long pull-the-mask-off from his radical agenda.

The suspense is killing me!

Whatever not-SOTU turns out to be, and whether Biden manages to meet my low expectations, I’ll be here, drink in hand, bringing you the best — biased but fair! — drunkblog analysis I can muster.


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