‘Biden Brought the Heat’: Our Columnists on the State of the Union

Welcome to Opinion’s coverage of President Biden’s State of the Union address. In this special feature, Times Opinion writers rate Biden’s performance on a scale of 1 to 10: 1 means the night was a disaster; 10 a triumph. Here’s what our columnists and contributors thought of the event.

Best Moment

Binyamin Appelbaum In a speech with multiple fire-breathing moments, I was struck by Biden’s level tone as he declared that those who fought to overturn Roe v. Wade were going to learn about “the power of women.”

Jamelle Bouie I thought Biden’s best line was his move to connect reproductive freedom to freedom writ large: “Many of you in this chamber and my predecessor are promising to pass a national ban on reproductive freedom,” he said. “My God,” what other freedoms “would you take away?”

Gail Collins For Biden, the speech was a real rouser. The audience didn’t walk out worrying about his age this time. His delivery had the kind of energy that his fans often worry Donald Trump has and Biden doesn’t.

Michelle Cottle Biden brought the heat, repeatedly hitting Republicans for following Trump down a bad path. My favorite: scolding them for blowing up the bipartisan border-security deal because Trump called them up and told them he needed it as a campaign issue.

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