I don’t know how many presidential addresses to Congress I have covered over the years. I do know most of them felt important in the moment, buoyed and battered by the political, social, economic, and foreign policy winds that blew at the time. They tend to follow a certain well-trod rhythm, which begins days before the speech itself - no shortage of scene setting, by the press, the pundit class, the administration preparing the remarks, and the opposition party that hopes to gain traction for its response. The pageantry can make it all feel monumental, never mind that the speeches themselves are rarely remembered in any great detail and seldom have much or any impact on the trajectory of a presidency.
I loved the speech: content and delivery! It left me very hopeful!
His speech was a breath of fresh air. It was long but comforting. I realize he has quite an uphill battle with the Mitch McConnell clan etc. steadfast in recounting the Arizona votes and not seeing the real job that needs to be done for the country. Their smallness will be their legacy. Hopefully, it will not destroy the country in the process.
I loved his speech! I felt relief. Uncle Joe came and reassured us. Spreading his kindness and caring around us like a blanket. Telling us what we can and will do together to bring our country through this trying time. I am so glad that he is our President, and that he is giving us some direction for the future. He is a true leader, the exact opposite of the last guy. Go Joe!!
Loved his speech and your report Dan! And however it was a Republican controlled Congress that Obama had to deal with!
I believe it was empty due to disrespect. I was once a Republican..No More. I may not agree with Biden on spending but he is a good man and we desperately need that.
Very well said Dan as usual. I remember your time as a Whitehouse correspondent and how much Walter relied on your discussions and competent analysis. I am glad you are still active and provide good food for thought. All the best.
One more thing. I think that us commentators could use our own Steady Discord server in order to talk about this and other things in a reasonable manner. Facebook is too corrupt by far. It's free to set one up, but requires good moderation and a large time investment.
Whenever I hear this guy speak there is always the notion that there's a lot he's not saying. That's a very good thing from a President. We need someone with self-discipline. I like what he's done so far and I trust his judgment, but I also know that if we don't make Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., and our other highly populated territories into states with representatives and senators there isn't a snowball's chance in Hell of any of his spectacular ideas getting passed in the Senate. 2020's election was the beginning. 2022's will decide the fate of the country. We have to surpass 2020's record of voter turnout or we're doomed.
First, what a blessing this man is for most of America! Smart, hard-working, caring about and for Americans and America's future. But we all wonder if he can pull off a speech like this. But he did, and with some beautifully cadenced language, such as:
"America is on the move again!
Turning peril into possibility.
Crisis into opportunity.
Setback into strength!"
I also liked how he worked to tie each of his initiatives to the Working Class and more and better jobs. Instead of trying to use scare tactics on Climate Change (which too many in America don't believe), he used jobs as a motivator. The same with infrastructure. And I liked how he pointed to his appointees and staff as expert and competent - especially when he noted that yes, we did put over 2 million shots in arms in 100 days - and that it was only possible because the incredibly complex logistical issues were addressed. No doubt, the former guy or his minions would even have thought about it. And never the word "ME" or how many votes he won, or how wonderful he is. It was always WE.
"I'd say he didn't hit it out of the ballpark (yes it was too long as he tried to hit all of his initiatives), but he had the outfielders running for the fence.
President Biden is not typically a great orator and really did a great job for simply stating what needs to be done and why. He has such great compassion and I have to admit saving the Middle Class in this country is a daunting task. He has some plans and decisively stated and welcomed any and all suggestions! His agenda items are necessary, I had no hesitancy in agreeing that they needed to be accomplished. I am praying and contacting our representatives to please offer a sincere effort to work with him and his team. The kindness and care is so wonderful for understanding the issue or problem he is trying to resolve. A breath of fresh air!
@DanRather #DanRather Thank you for such brilliance ❣So informative❤🤍💙 and thought provoking 💭💭💭🤍🤍🤍🤍
You need to check your facts.
I was pretty sure Obama didn’t have the ‘majority’ in Congress, pretty much from the get go and that contributed greatly to his struggles to get anything done.
I looked it up. He only had Democratic control of Congress for 4 months. That’s all. He got Obamacare passed during that short time. After that, he had to deal with McConnell’s nasty, biased, obstructionistic, egotistical Republican control of the Senate.
Biden will have a Senate majority, with Harris, longer than Obama had a majority. Hopefully, he’ll do good things for ‘We the People’. Time will tell.
Thank you for this beautiful reflection Mr. Rather.
Who but you could deliver such a comprehensive understanding after all these years of covering such monumental events and it is nothing less than that. It seems that the GOP no longer thinks of this as even necessary, since the previous president defaced every traditional democratic American event as less important than himself. In fact, there were some members of congress present and missing who don't even believe that Joe Biden is legally our president. Separate from all the important FDR style rebuilding of America's infrastructure and my support and respect for this part of the president's speech, my frustrations point to the most poignant part for me, his fear and apprehension of autocracy. He spoke of America being viewed as being on the brink of the same, and that he will not let that happen. It is important to call it what it is, thank you Mr. President. In the 1930's people passively watched in Germany while one man we have all studied since slowly and patiently took over countries, murdered innocent people, all through a submissive people he convinced was the best for his country, for our world. Hearing Joe, a man of great compassion and experience, it is also important to continue to know 45 will not give up, is not giving up and we should not be so naive to think the democrats should not take it seriously, as we the people also should. I sleep better at night knowing we have a President Biden, but we must also pay attention to what people will do to hold onto lost power.
It seems the qualities that make Joe Biden seem like a balm for sore souls is that he is the embodiment of "old School" civility. Worthy of his office because he respects the democratic process enough to have earned his credentials. Like Dan Rather, a man with more integrity than most, always casting a steady, critical eye on the present while never losing sight of the history that brought us here. The worrisome observation is that they may be a vanishing
I am not a reporter and my reactions are not as all encompassing as Dan's, but here they are for what they are worth. 4/29/2021
President Biden spoke to the American people last night and laid out his broad, generally progressive vision for the country. In my judgment his first 100 days have seen a return to a sense of governmental competence combined with the management of the COVID vaccine dispersal that will go down as a logistic miracle when reported on by future analysts. Now the tougher slog begins. No plan this grand will be without shortfalls.
Let’s start with Biden’s demonstration that he has solved the “Trump Equation” by the expedient of ignoring him. This is the kind of “death by a thousand cuts” that only bottom feeding egotists feel. In four years the news bureaus, networks, pundits, and most Democrats failed to get the easier message. So they turned red in the face and wildly attacked each portentous lie and lunacy. Biden has, literally since the beginning of this campaign, been the fish who refuses to take the bait no matter how tempting. He has reasoned correctly that raw meat spoils more quickly when not thrown immediately on every grill. Kudos to him!
On to some of last night’s specifics where we were given a focused, totally understandable, and bi-directional look down an Interstate Highway. The President directed us first to gaze down at the potholed roadway and outlined a plan to fix the aging infra-structure. He emphasized jobs and an ennoblement of the working classes who have built and rebuilt the nation before and now can do it again.
His second direction was to gaze straight ahead toward the horizon where justice, climate fixes, and successful international competition await a renewed national commitment. He emphasized that it was not possible for us to “not respond” to this challenge. He said If we exhaust our efforts competing among ourselves, the rest of the world (particularly China) will not sit around and wait for us to put our house in order. They will see our folly and move ahead without us.
Note that the President looked only those two ways. His message was narrow, finely honed, and fully understandable. Although I am sure he is well aware of it, he did not mention that the off-ramps on the Interstate are full of dying and decaying strip malls. That is where doom saying toothless tigers are gnashing their gums while complaining that these efforts will cost too much. Republicans off to either side of the road have no apparent foreign or domestic vision, no declared platform of action, and no apparent interest in negotiation or governing. Mitch McConnell’s cold iceberg isolation stare last night (that could not be concealed by his mask) captured our predicament perfectly. In closing I reiterate that this is a lift destined to fail in some part, but by all that is Holy, it is a goal worthy of our noble nation. Not to try will be seen by future historians as a monumental failure.
Like Joe, I thank you for your patience.
it was so inspiring to hear from some one fiji loves our democracy and country. and the old saying goes of you do not ask.....and i hope the the 1% thinks about the saying to those who much is chives much will be required. time will tell. good to have reason and empathy and love of country back in the presidency.