NBC Hypes ‘Energized’, ‘Feisty’ Biden’s ‘Mix of Energy, Humor, Combativeness’ at SOTU

March 8th, 2024 1:37 PM

Just as ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday got weak knees over President Biden’s State of the Union address, NBC’s Today followed suit by swooning over the “energized” and “feisty” President’s “mix of energy, humor, combativeness” to deliver a “poignant” speech with “an optimistic view” on the economy standing up for “main street.”

Chief White House correspondent and Saturday Today co-host Peter Alexander pulled together highlights, starting with hefty notes of praise: “President Biden delivering a mix of energy, humor, combativeness as well as plenty of ad-libs directed at his Republican critics. From President Biden a feisty State of the Union address...relishing the back and forth with Republicans.”



Amid a slew of interspersed Biden soundbites, Alexander boasted of Biden “looking to demonstrate he has the vigor and vision to serve another four years and sharply critiquing” Donald Trump “on Russia,” “the Capitol attack”, and “abortion rights.

Like ABC, NBC’s Alexander saw no problem with Biden attacking the Supreme Court, which would almost certainly receive a different billing if he were a Republican: “President Biden vowing to restore Roe v. Wade if he has the chance and, in a rare moment, admonishing the Supreme Court justices in attendance for their role.”

Alexander touched on the economy (“the President delivering an optimistic view”) and the border (“Biden blamed Republicans for rejecting a bipartisan security bill”), but didn’t take notice of Biden referring to Laken Riley as “Lincoln Riley” when highlighted her murder allegedly at the hands of an illegal alien.

Alexander closed his report in the first hour by touting Biden’s response to concerns on his age and a note about Steve Nikoui, who was arrested by Capitol Police for shouting during Biden’s speech about his late son, who was murdered by terrorists during Biden’s “chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan”. 

Sadly, this made NBC the only broadcast network flagship morning show to bring this up (click “expand”):

ALEXANDER: The President acknowledging his age —

BIDEN: I know it may not look like it but I’ve been around a while. [LAUGHTER]

ALEXANDER: — and using it to deliver a political point —

BIDEN: The issue facing our nation isn’t how old we are, it’s how old our ideas.

ALEXANDER: — trying to reframe the issue while contrasting himself with Mr. Trump.

BIDEN: My lifetime has taught me to embrace freedom and democracy. [SCREEN WIPE] And other people my age see it differently. The American story of resentment, revenge, and retribution. That’s not me.

LEXANDER: And, one note: A man who heckled President Biden last night was a Gold Star fathers whose son, a Marine, was among 13 U.S. service members killed during chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. That father was arrested for his outburst last night. As for President Biden’s performance, it really went a long way to ease Democrats’ concerns about his age during what was a 33-minute walk out of the chamber, a senior Democrat said to the President, “nobody’s going to call you cognitively impaired now”[.]

Meet the Press moderator Kristen Welker was next up and boasted of “Democrats...breathing a sigh of relief” about Biden 2024 because “they are thrilled” with how Thursday night went and “one Democrat” calling it “a total ten because the President was strong, because he was energetic, because he took on Donald Trump within the first four minutes of starting this speech.”

“[W]hat are Republicans criticizing him on this morning? They say he was too partisan. They’re not criticizing him for a lack of energy and that was the point. And he took on the age issue head on,” she added.

Welker also brought up Biden attacking Republicans on the border and credited him for both “throw[ing] red meat to the base and also appeal[ing] to those Nikki Haley, moderate, independent voters.”

Co-host Savannah Guthrie and senior business correspondent Christine Romans shifted gears to the economy, but Romans shilled for her fellow liberals by insisting that, while Biden’s speech were as though he was at a “kitchen table, on main street,” the top issues for voters could very well be abortion and the border, not the border and the economy (click “expand”):

GUTHRIE: [T]here are so many markers that show —


GUTHRIE: — the economy improving and when you look at consumer confidence, I know, it might be trending up right now —

ROMANS: Right.

GUTHRIE: — but generally people are not feeling this economy that the President is saying is so much better than where we were.

ROMANS: And his lowest approval ratings are on the economy. Let’s be clear. So, you had, on yesterday a day when the stock market was hitting record highs, the President was not on Wall Street. The President was at the kitchen table, on main street, trying to show people I feel your pain., I know you feel like you’ve been nickeled and dimed. This is what we’ve been doing over the past year. You know, look, let’s talk about tax fairness. Maybe these big corporations and these people that make $100 million or more a year should be paying a higher tax rate than you are and he really dug into this. There are two teams here, and I’m on your team. And that’s what the White House was trying to do, get him at the kitchen table with the American people because those poll numbers have been so low, but one thing that’s interesting in this town, a lot of people yesterday were telling me that they think that — that immigration and abortion could be the two really — the two really important things that drive people in the ballot box. Maybe it won’t be the economy. Maybe this will not be an economy election after all. As more time passes, people are feeling a little bit better about things.

And, in the second hour ahead of report reairing large portions of his previous hit, Alexander had one last valentine for Biden, calling him an “energized” President who was “eager to show he is ready to fight” and “deliver[ed] a poignant and, at times, combative address.”

To see the relevant NBC transcript from March 8, click here.