President Biden’s State of the Union report card: Ratings from former speechwriters are in

Former top speechwriters rated President Biden on the content and delivery of his second State of the Union address, giving out grades ranging from a sterling “A” grade to nearly-failing “D.” Biden’s speech focused on his administration’s economic plans, touting his signature infrastructure bill and job growth. He also claimed to want to restore unity and work with Congress in a bipartisan manner. However, Republicans took issue with several parts of his speech, most notably the claim that some Republicans aimed to cut Medicare and Social Security programs. Hanging over Biden’s speech was the recent shooting down of a Chinese spy balloon a few days ago, which has further complicated the already-tense relationship between the U.S. and China. According to experts, Biden made a good faith effort at promoting bipartisanship, but did not confront the China threat as aggressively as he should have. Many agreed that his speech was a test run for his expected 2024 presidential announcement, but felt sluggish and boring at points. CLICK HERE FOR LIVE UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE SPEECH  David Wilezol, former chief speechwriter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and president of the ghostwriting firm Seventh Floor Strategies, gave Biden a “D.” “State of the Union speeches are almost always boring, but hardly ever has a president said less in more than an hour of speaking than Joe Biden did tonight. While packed with a kitchen sink list of so-called accomplishments that may sell politically, this sleepy address lacked any memorable lines or displays of political courage,” Wilezol told Fox News Digital.  “Biden endorsed the exact rote prescription for fixing public education – spending more money in some form or another – that has failed America’s students for decades. If Biden was serious about showing leadership, he would capitalize on growing bipartisan support for school choice instead of regurgitating teachers unions’ talking points,” Wilezol said.  “He would also be courageous to tell the American people the truth about the sacrifices that will be necessary to properly confront Chinese aggression rather than pretending to be tough on President Xi. Americans instead were subject to a preview of his presidential campaign that will be memorable to exactly no one.” David Litt, a senior speechwriter for former President Obama, said Biden deserved a solid “A” on his speech. “I doubt the MAGA-iest politicians – many of whom watched at home after losing in the midterm elections – will find much to like about this speech. But moderate and independent voters were the ones who delivered big wins for Democrats in November, and this SOTU was for them,” Litt told Fox News Digital.  “President Biden earned bipartisan applause for some of his biggest economic and national-security accomplishments, like building new roads and bridges and rebuilding the American semiconductor industry to compete with China. He used live TV to put Congressional Republicans on the spot – they’ve now pledged not to cut Medicare or Social Security, giving the White House the early upper hand in any debt-ceiling hostage situation,” he continued.  “Last but not least, just weeks after Republicans struggled through a publicly embarrassing, tantrum-filled series of votes for speaker, Joe Biden was the quintessential adult in the room. He looked presidential. He made GOP hecklers look foolish. Start to finish, the commander in chief was in command.” “One of Biden’s favorite lines is, ‘No one ever made money betting against the United States of America.’ If he can keep commanding the national stage like this, I wouldn’t bet against President Biden, either,” concluded Litt. Dr. Jonathan Bronitsky, former chief speechwriter for Attorney General Bill Barr and co-founder of the D.C.-based public relations firm and literary agency ATHOS, gave Biden a “C+” grade, saying his performance was not confidence-inspiring but did promote some bipartisan ideas. He said that Biden notably left out his previous references to “MAGA Republicans,” which he says is proof that the president “discovered that demonizing half of the citizenry isn’t conducive to bringing people together.” Bronitsky said the first section of the speech, which focused on support for the “American working class,” was bipartisan, and although it rang a same bell as former President Trump’s “forgotten man and woman” remarks, it also showed the administration is aware that “its zealous enthusiasm for wokeness and other weirdness is alienating large swaths of the American public needed to win a national election.” Bronitsky explained that since Biden is “essentially scoreless” on accomplishments, he mainly looked to the future and ignored everyday issues plaguing Americans. He also pointed out inconsistencies throughout, including praising capitalism while proposing drastic cuts to free markets by increasing the government and also false assertions, such as the Republican plan to terminate Medicare and Social Security.  “At the same time, it promoted ideas that enjoy buy in from both sides of the aisle, like supporting law enforcement and combating Big Tech’s collection of personal data. Still, for the most part, the actual policy proposals cut in only one direction: hard left.” As for delivery, Bronitsky said it sounded like Biden was “going through the motions.” “Tremendous energy and mental acuity are required to run for the presidency, arguably the most demanding job in the world. In this respect, Biden’s performance was as confidence-inspiring as a pilot who’s just tossed back a bottle of tequila,” he concluded. BIDEN PLAGUED BY NEGATIVE APPROVAL RATINGS AHEAD OF SECOND STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH Rob Noel, president of the writing agency Washington Writers Network and former speechwriter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, gave Biden a “C+” rating. “He said the right words on bipartisanship and, compared to previous outings, his delivery seemed sincere and energetic. But the rhetoric was a total rehash,” explained Noel. “It was flush with familiar platitudes – ‘bottom up and middle out,’ ‘pay your fair share’ – and lacked a strong sense of voice. Presidents Obama and Trump gave SOTU addresses that were unique to them, that only they could have delivered. President Biden’s are like mediocre pop music: sometimes catchy but mostly formulaic and forgettable,” Noel concluded.
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