President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, March 7, 2024 (Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg)

I joined Monocle Radio’s Chris Cermak on Friday to analyze the importance of US President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address — not just for the 2024 Presidential campaign but also for the future of the American system and, in Biden’s words, of “freedom at home and abroad”.

Listen to Discussion from 3:56:

I begin with three essential points:

  • With the “white noise” and media frenzy about his age, Biden needed to show energy and initiative. He did so.
  • Biden needed to highlight the stakes for the US and the world, amid the threat posed by Donald Trump. He did so with almost 10 minutes of the hour-long speech devoted to “democracy”, referring to the destruction wrought by “my predecessor”.
  • Biden needed to highlight the key issues in the election. He did so with attention to the economy; education; immigration and — what may be the most significant topic — women’s rights, including abortion.

The 10-minute discussion expands on these, concluding with the importance of this moment for US society and for the freedom and security of those outside America.