Mar 1, 2024 - Politics & Policy

What Biden will tell the nation at next week's State of the Union

President Joe Biden addresses Congress during the 2023 State of the Union.

Biden speaks during last year's State of the Union address on Feb. 7, 2023. Photo: Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's State of the Union address on Thursday will highlight "historic" accomplishments — from infrastructure spending to scrapping junk fees — and make the case for "protecting and implementing" that agenda, a White House official tells Axios.

The big picture: "The president will talk about whose side he is on and the work ahead to make life better for every American," the official said.

Why it matters: Based on this outline, Biden will focus on selling his existing accomplishments — "protecting" rather than pivoting — and betting voters will opt for stability over change in 2024.

Zoom in: The preview says the speech will cover "making the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share," "saving our democracy," and a "unity agenda" that includes curbing fentanyl, helping veterans and ending cancer.

Zoom out: The Biden team is focused on him delivering a vigorous performance as polls show widespread concerns about his age.

  • Biden's team believes they have a winning message but are hoping a high-profile, well-delivered speech can convince the country he is up to the job for another term.
  • Last year's speech — in which he jousted with Republicans on the fly — helped assuage Democratic concerns about his ability to run for re-election.

Go deeper: House Speaker Johnson invites Biden to deliver State of the Union address on March 7

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