‘Uncle Joe Is Back,’ CNN Gushes Over ‘Quintessential Biden’ SOTU


CNN didn’t waste any time heaping praise on President Biden for his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, with Jake Tapper proclaiming his performance was “quintessential Biden” and Van Jones declaring that “Uncle Joe is back”

Jones’s comments came after Scott Jennings criticized Biden for not cutting off Russian oil and gas imports:

I thought totally differently. First of all, I thought that of Joe Biden at his best, Uncle Joe is back. I thought he was being the leader. Listen, nobody believes in these American ideals more than Joe Biden… Listen, I was impressed with the energy. I was impressed– If you didn’t believe in democracy before, if you never heard of democracy and you just looked at the body language of this guy, this guy believed every word he said. And I think, I am proud tonight we have a leader like him. I’m proud tonight.

 

 

Earlier in the segment, Jake Tapper got the praise going when he directed the conversation toward senior political correspondent Abby Phillip and this time really piled it on: 

And Abby, I have to say, every president has to say, the state of the union is strong even when it does not necessarily feel strong. There are a lot of hurting people out there, but that is quintessential Biden to say and he saved it for the end instead of the beginning of the speech, the state of the, our union is strong because you the American people are strong. Very Biden.

For her part, Phillip took the unity on Ukraine and tried to project that onto U.S. domestic policy:

The end of the speech was about American values just as it was in the beginning when he was talking about Ukraine and Biden wanting to make the point that American unity is one of the things that he was elected to—to– foster is still on the agenda. That’s a big part of what he needs to convey to the American public, that he hasn’t forgotten about that promise, that the country’s best days are ahead. There has been a lot of criticism of this president that maybe he’s trying to force people to think that things are better than they are but I think he was trying to say tomorrow will be better than today was, acknowledging the painful experiences.

Biden biographer Evan Osnos also tried to connect the bipartisan condemnation of Putin’s war into some sort of domestic unity:

Then on the domestic front of course as we all know he thinks about unity but tonight he made it functional. This idea of a unity agenda. These are not wildly controversial ideas, combatting opioids, investing in cutting edge health issues. These are the kinds of things that are going to be very hard for people to argue against. I think that’s the phase that he’s trying to get to now. 

Of course, Osnos left out the middle part of the speech where Biden laid out a very liberal agenda from price controls to abortion.

There were no commercials during the 10:00 Eastern hour. To see a list of CNN’s usual sponsors, click here

Here is a transcript of the March 1 SOTU Coverage:

CNN State of the Union Coverage
3/1/2022
10:12 PM ET

JAKE TAPPER: And I have to say, you know, considering his speaking talents and challenges it was a fairly solid performance. 

DANA BASH: And it was certainly helped by the fact that he was speaking to a chamber of course divided politically, but genuinely united on what everybody realizes the world is focused on right now, which is bombs falling on a democracy in Europe by, perpetrated by Vladimir Putin, and the way that the president framed that is as, we were talking about before, in keeping with the themes of his campaign, democracy versus autocracy, but, you know, from the beginning when he started the speech about Ukraine to the end where he talked more broadly about unity and—and– being together, that was genuine and it was a genuine, bipartisan moment that we have not seen in some time and we’ve talked before the speech about whether or not the United States Congress would look like NATO and the European allies have looked in the face of what Vladimir Putin is doing, which is he’s had the opposite effect. He’s not dividing them; he is uniting them. And for this evening, on these issues, that is exactly what happened. 

TAPPER: And Abby, I have to say, every president has to say, the state of the union is strong even when it does not necessarily feel strong. There are a lot of hurting people out there, but that is quintessential Biden to say and he saved it for the end instead of the beginning of the speech, the state of the, our union is strong because you the American people are strong. Very Biden. 

ABBY PHILLIP: Yeah. I mean, the — where they wanted to end on was also basically where they began. The end of the speech was about American values just as it was in the beginning when he was talking about Ukraine and Biden wanting to make the point that American unity is one of the things that he was elected to—to– foster is still on the agenda. That’s a big part of what he needs to convey to the American public, that he hasn’t forgotten about that promise, that the country’s best days are ahead. There has been a lot of criticism of this president that maybe he’s trying to force people to think that things are better than they are but I think he was trying to say tomorrow will be better than today was, acknowledging the painful experiences. 

EVAN OSNOS: If you think about it he came to office telling people I know how to do foreign policy and that rests on alliances and what you have seen over the early days of this war is him turning not only to his personal relationships in Europe but just to a faith in the possibility of alliances, to unity broadly described on the international scale. That was running through this speech. The idea that you couldn’t respond to Putin’s aggression, you couldn’t respond in the name of democracy if you didn’t believe that the United States is stronger when it’s together with its allies. Then on the domestic front of course as we all know he thinks about unity but tonight he made it functional. This idea of a unity agenda. These are not wildly controversial ideas, combatting opioids, investing in cutting edge health issues. These are the kinds of things that are going to be very hard for people to argue against. I think that’s the phase that he’s trying to get to now. 

10:21

VAN JONES: I thought totally differently. First of all, I thought that of Joe Biden at his best, Uncle Joe is back. I thought he was being the leader. Listen, nobody believes in these American ideals more than Joe Biden. It showed tonight. He—he–he has spent his entire career standing for American unity at home. He stood for that. And for American ideals abroad and I thought, listen. I have not seen unity in this country like I saw at the beginning of that speech and I don’t want to step on that. It is very, very important that we underscore to the world that every single person stood with Joe Biden tonight. Every Republican stood on their feet. And the—the– Ukrainians are not by themselves. Listen, I was impressed with the energy. I was impressed– If you didn’t believe in democracy before, if you never heard of democracy and you just looked at the body language of this guy, this guy believed every word he said. And I think, I am proud tonight we have a leader like him. I’m proud tonight. 

 



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