WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Amid turmoil overseas and high inflation hitting U.S. families, President Joe Biden will deliver the State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine will likely pull some focus away from Biden’s domestic agenda, at least in the beginning of the address.
“He will definitely spend time in the speech talking about the conflict in Ukraine, his efforts to rally the world, to lead the world in responding to and standing up to autocratic leadership and the offensive and horrific actions of President Putin,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
The president will likely defend Ukraine’s right to democracy as well as his administration’s diplomatic work during the crisis.
“The world is united against the actions of Vladimir Putin," said Alison Dagnes, a political science professor at Shippensburg University. "If that is not indicative of a success on Biden’s part, I’m not really sure what is."
The war is directly impacting a key domestic issue: gas costs. The conflict has caused energy costs to shoot up, even as Biden was already struggling with voter frustration at prices at the pump.
“Americans are very reliant on our cars, and gas prices continuing to rise is something that’s going to hurt them tremendously,” Dagnes said.
These problems come at a bad time for the president. Polls show only 41% of Americans approve of the job he's doing, a near all-time low for Biden. He will likely try to use his bully pulpit during the State of the Union to change that narrative.
“He’s going to tout his major accomplishments: the nomination of Katanji Brown Jackson to be the first Black woman to the Supreme Court,” Dagnes predicted. “He’s going to discuss a prospect of a return to normalcy as COVID-19 cases begin to drop.”
The State of the Union address begins at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 1.