No remedy from Biden to heal domestic divide
The United States' economy, foreign relations and his 2024 bid for a second term were among the topics in the State of the Union address US President Joe Biden delivered in Washington on Tuesday.
With the aim of locking up votes for the 2024 election and shifting the tide of negative polls, Biden touted the benefits of his economic plan for middle- and lower-class Americans, while urging wealthy Americans and large businesses to pay taxes and fulfill their responsibilities to the country.
Undoubtedly, a divided Congress will be the biggest obstacle for Biden in the next two years of his presidency and in the 2024 election.
For now, Biden's first priority is the debt ceiling. The federal government of the US hit its $31.4 trillion debt ceiling last month and a failure to agree on raising it could trigger a default or financial turmoil.
But Biden drew boos from Senate Republicans when he spoke about the debt ceiling negotiations during his speech. And House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who sat just behind Biden during the address, has again rejected the president's offer to raise the debt ceiling without conditions in order to appease the hard-liners in his party.
Biden's second State of the Union address, while intended to lay the groundwork for his 2024 re-election bid, lacked a clear path to achieve the objective he set of greater bipartisanship in Congress, police reform and a reduction in mass shootings, despite some bright economic statistics. Nor did it help improve the political atmosphere in Washington.
Moreover, Biden offered little fresh thoughts in his expressions on major country relations in his speech, exposing his administration's lack of political wisdom and inability to liberate itself from the Republicans' pressure so as to maintain good relations with countries such as China and Russia.
All told, despite his wishes, the speech has done little to revive the country's muddled public opinion in a favorable direction to him, or mend the relations between the two parties.
The country will not be united until the Republicans and Democrats find the way to work together to serve the country rather than their own narrow ends.