Biden’s Big Populist Pitch Is Sunny—and Dangerous as Hell 1

If boring is Joe Biden’s superpower, he delivered tonight.

In between a strong start (he looked and sounded sharp) and a stirring ending to his address to the Joint Session of Congress, a new president’s year one equivalent of the State of the Union, his speech turned into a snooze fest.

In fairness, some of it could have been the optics. The crowd was “socially distanced.” During a normal address such as this, every seat is taken. Tuesday night, however, the audience was largely empty. And while we all intuitively understand that hordes of people equal excitement, seeing an empty chamber on TV had the effect of sucking some of the excitement out of the pomp and circumstance. That was, at least, true for me as a spectator, and I suspect it was true for everyone in the room as it clearly was for Ted Cruz, who was caught on camera visibly struggling to stay awake at one point. Cruz would later tweet a video of that moment, with the hashtag #BoringButRadical.