How Cable News Reacted to the State of the Union

After the speech, the deluge — of punditry, that is.

The instant hot takes about President Biden’s State of the Union address on Thursday split mostly along partisan lines on cable news, with Mr. Biden’s on-air sympathizers praising his forceful delivery, while his usual critics suggested that he came across at times as overly agitated and rancorous.

Here’s a sampling of commentary from CNN, Fox News and MSNBC:

Dana Bash, chief political correspondent: “They wanted him to be a fighter, and, boy, a fight did he deliver.”

John King, chief national correspondent: “He came out punching and came out swinging right from the beginning.”

Alyssa Farah Griffin, political commentator: “Joe Biden basically had to show up and not keel over on the dais tonight. And he massively outperformed, just objectively. There was some stumbling, there was some coughing, and he’s prone to some kinds of stutter. But he did show energy. He showed the ability to get through a long speech.”

Van Jones, political commentator: “I thought that was a remarkable, fiery, powerful, vigorous guy. And I think it gives people a lot of confidence that this guy might be able to go the distance.”

Brit Hume, chief political analyst: “There was plenty of stumbling and slurring of words and all the rest of it that we’ve come to associate with him. I don’t think he got out from under that at all. I’m not sure if a person sitting at home tonight looking at the guy would think he was anything other than an angry old man. I’m not sure it was the kind of energy the public would want to see at a time like this in this country.”

Dana Perino, anchor: “I do think this was a polarizing, divisive speech, and it was meant to be.”

Harold Ford Jr., co-host, “The Five”: “He brought a lot of vigor, a lot of energy.”

Sean Hannity, host: “He spent most of the night shouting, speeding through his speech, and clearly overcompensating from the normal everyday Joe who can barely string two sentences together. … Tonight, America saw, let’s say, a very different Joe Biden. I might call him ‘Jacked-Up Joe.’ ”

Nicolle Wallace, host: “This was his ‘How About Dem Apples’ speech. … Everybody knows that this was a great speech. And everybody knows that if this is the message going into the next eight months, polls will soon reflect that and this will be a real fight.”

Chris Hayes, host: “It transcended my expectations. I did not think this would be as aggressive, as sharp.”

Joy-Ann Reid, host: “I thought the speech was very ‘high caffeine.’ I think Joe Biden woke up this morning, had a cup of coffee, and had his Wheaties. He was definitely there to fight.”

Lawrence O’Donnell, host: “I’ve never brought that much energy to the 10 p.m. hour.”

You may also like...