‘Was It Feisty or Angry?’: Readers Rate the State of the Union

We asked 10 Times columnists and contributors to watch the State of the Union address on Thursday and rate President Biden’s performance. (A rating of one meant that the night was a disaster, 10 that it was a triumph.) Most were impressed. Some were a bit surprised. “Where has this Joe Biden been hiding these past three years?” Bret Stephens asked. Michelle Goldberg wrote, “What an unexpectedly rousing speech!”

We also wanted to know what our readers thought, so we asked you to rate the speech and share what you thought were the best and worst moments. More than 1,000 of you wrote back. Here are a selection of your responses, edited for length and clarity:

Rating Biden’s speech

10: I found myself clapping alone in my living room and thinking, “Give ’em hell, Joe.” The Republicans needed a smack down. And his staring down the Supreme Court justices while quoting Samuel Alito? Women will show up and vote in record numbers. — Marguerite Dee, 72, Tampa, Fla.

6: Was it feisty or angry? While I support most of President Biden’s positions, the delivery came across as an old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn. I wanted more calm and confidence to reinforce he is still up to the job. — Mike Wade, 67, Berlin, Md.

10: Biden was spot on. With our reproductive and voting rights at stake, health care and the middle class being threatened with dissolution, what a comfort to see our president at his pugilistic best defending the very essence of America, and leaning forward to consolingly whisper, “I won’t let them.” — Brandi Lynn Ryder, 51, Sonora, Calif.

2: He’s out of touch with younger voters like me. We don’t want the A.C.A., we want universal health care. He talks about walls of the past — what about walls he supports today? He kept repeating “history is watching.” He’s not wrong. — Daphna Thier, 36, Brooklyn

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