WASHINGTON: An optimistic President Joe Biden will seek to lift the spirits of a tense nation Tuesday with a State of the Union address showcasing his efforts to fire up the US economy and demonstrating that he still has what it takes to seek reelection at the age of 80.

After two years of managing the exit from the Covid pandemic, an end to the 20-year Afghan war debacle, the Western response against Russia’s Ukraine invasion, and extreme US political tensions, Biden feels he has much to celebrate.

“I want to talk to the American people and let them know the state of affairs,” Biden said Monday. On Capitol Hill, he’ll address the full Congress, nearly every senior government member, and a vast television audience, buoyed by news that the economy is recovering strongly from the pandemic, with the lowest unemployment in 50 years.

“This is a president who is incredibly optimistic,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Biden will tap into his powers of empathy—honed in a series of personal tragedies— and show his skill at “connecting with the American people,” she said Tuesday on MSNBC. And there are troubles closer to home, with two new polls showing that well over half of voters do not want Biden, the oldest person ever in the presidency, to seek a second term in 2024, and that includes members of his own Democratic party.

An ABC News-Washington Post Poll found that 58 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said the party should find someone else for 2024.

Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2023

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