Tale of Two Leaders: Biden's SOTU address fizzles while Zelenskyy's words brings world to its feet
The tepid reviews for Biden stood in stark contrast to the way Americans and the world has reacted to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy's wartime speeches
President Joe Biden's first State of the Union address on Tuesday, March 1, was met with lukewarm reviews across the political spectrum as it was married by gaffes and misleading claims. This was in sharp contrast to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's rhetoric for the survival of his country amid the Russian invasion, which has garnered international praise and brought translators to tears.
MEAWW previously reported how the US President's calls to 'fund the police' raised eyebrows, especially since the Democrats have always shown unconditional support for the Black Lives Matter protests and the 'defund the police' movement. We also reported how his Ukrainian counterpart, on the other hand, received a minute-long standing ovation in the European Union parliament after delivering a heart-rending speech.
"The 2022 State of the Union was a mediocre speech poorly delivered," The Week’s Damon Linker declared in an op-ed for the magazine. Meanwhile, Rob Noel, a speechwriter for former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, told Fox News Digital that "the intro on Ukraine worked well enough, but boy did he move on quickly, and not to anything particularly compelling or new." He explained, "As a technical matter, the speech felt strung together and disjointed, with cram-ins and jumpy transitions. The substance amounted to a dry list of policy points like it was geared toward lawmakers in the room rather than people at home."
Viewers noted a number of glaring gaffes in Biden's speech. At one point, the POTUS appeared to mix up the citizens of Ukraine with the Iranians. "Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he'll never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people," he said. According to Fox News, Vice President Kamala Harris noticed the error and was seen apparently mouthing "Ukrainian" right behind Biden. At the end of his speech, Biden declared "Go get him!" — right after heaping praise on the US troops — but no one knew who he was referring to.
Meanwhile, the President also faced flak from fact-checkers for a number of misleading or false claims he made during the speech. The Associated Press called him out for claiming "gun manufacturers [are] the only industry in America that can’t be sued, the only one." The agency noted that while gun manufacturers did have some legal protections from being held liable for crimes caused by misused of their weapons, they were liable to be sued for several other reasons. Meanwhile, The Washington Post noted how Biden's claims about job creation and deficit reduction were rather "misleading."
The mixed reviews for Biden's speech stood in stark contrast to the reception the embattled Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has been receiving as he rallied for his country and urged world leaders to cobble together enough international support for the survival of his people amid a devastating invasion by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Zelenskyy has become a symbol of bravery and resilience as he stands alongside Ukrainian troops and civilians.
Zelenskyy made a passionate appeal to NATO and the EU on Saturday, February 26, with one translator getting choked up toward the end of his speech and later apologizing for the same. Former CIA Moscow station chief Dan Hoffman said Zelenskyy "jolted the West out of its post-Cold War slumber." He added, "The Jewish comedian-turned-populist president that's a silver lining in these dark clouds. It's a stark warning to China and all the other dictatorships around the world."
The European Parliament gives Volodymyr Zelenskyy a standing ovation.— Breaking News (@breaking_newsx) March 1, 2022
He ended his speech with "Life will win over death. And light will win over darkness. Glory to Ukraine!" #UkraineRussiaWar #RussiaInvadesUkraine #Kyiv pic.twitter.com/5L1WZs5YWU
Hours before Biden was slated to make his first SOTU address on Tuesday, Zelenksyy received a minute-long standing ovation from world leaders following his appeal to the European Union. Biden praised Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people at his address, which took place shortly after. "From President Zelenskyy to every Ukrainian, their fearlessness, their courage, their determination, literally inspires the world," he said.