President Joe Biden built his five-decade political career around his foreign policy expertise and deft touch with everyday Americans, qualities that polls show many voters now doubt.
He’ll need to rediscover both of those traits Tuesday in his first State of the Union speech, as the U.S. and its allies step up pressure on Russia over Ukraine. Biden must also persuade skeptical voters that he can lead the country out of its pandemic doldrums after key pillars of his economic plan collapsed and inflation spiked.
“I was pretty critical of the way in which the Afghanistan withdrawal proceeded, but I have to say -- this is what American leadership looks like,” said Richard Fontaine, chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security. “I suspect that the events of the past days will take center stage in his speech.”
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