Updated Mar 7, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Watch live: Biden's State of the Union address

President Biden's State of the Union address is a crucial opportunity to lay out his agenda ahead of a re-election fight with Donald Trump.

Why it matters: At least as scrutinized as the content will be Biden's delivery: an overwhelming majority of Americans consistently express concern in polls about his age and mental capacity to serve.

  • Biden spent the weekend hunkered down in with top aides at Camp David preparing the speech. They pored over drafts, absorbed the president's feedback and consulted historian Jon Meacham for epochal context.

Driving the news: Biden will announce an "emergency mission" to open up a temporary port to allow for increased humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

  • He'll also lay out a populist vision for what economic policy in his second term would look like, Axios' Neil Irwin reports.
  • Biden is also expected to pledge to "restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land again," according to the excerpts provided to reporters.
  • We're also watching what he'll say on immigration, and how directly he'll go after Trump.

Between the lines: Some Democrats dread a high-profile senior moment. Others expressed confidence that Biden can repeat last year's energetic performance.

  • "We are all nervous," said one House Democrat, citing concerns about the 81-year-old Biden's "ability to speak without blowing things."
  • Another House Democrat said: "Listen, Trump has made rhetorical slips … Biden is going to make rhetoric slips, I think the key is his energy level."

What to watch: House Republican leadership is trying to tamp down on the heckling that engulfed last year's State of the Union, Axios' Andrew Solender reports.

Go deeper: Biden's big chance to win over skeptical voters

Go deeper