Wednesday night was a tale of two speeches. We had President Biden droning to a nearly empty House Chamber. Then, we had Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) give the best follow-up to a presidential address to a joint session of Congress that I have ever seen.
The difference between the two speeches was made vivid by Frank Luntz’s experience with a class of 15 University of Southern California students. In describing his discussion with the students on an Inner Circle webinar with me the next day, the students clearly favored Biden’s liberalism over Scott’s conservatism. Yet, when the speeches finished, the students were totally and deeply disappointed by the President’s speech. They were instead impressed by Scott’s sincerity, the power of his life story, and even his references to religion. While the students weren’t necessarily religious themselves, they thought a more spiritual approach to our current political mess would be helpful.
Watching the President, Vice President, and Speaker of the House all wearing masks even though they have been vaccinated was just painful. Far from following science, Biden, Harris, and Pelosi were clearly virtue signaling. To add to this, the absurdity of having 200 members present for a speech that usually has 1,600 people in attendance made for a very sad and depressing picture.