An Historic State Of The Union

Liza Donnelly
3 min readApr 29, 2021

President Biden and the two powerful women who stand behind him

Last night, President Biden delivered his first State Of The Union Address, and I live drew it. Before he began his remarks, he addressed Vice President Harris and Speaker Pelosi, acknowledging the historic moment. Two women — Harris and Pelosi — stood behind him on the podium for the first time in the history of our country. I missed this moment, unfortunately, but I drew it this morning from a photograph, I was so moved by this fact.

Below are the drawings that I completed in real time during the SOTU last night. President Biden had an urgent tone to his voice and countenance, he seemed to be a man who knew the enormous opportunities (and problems) he was given when we elected him. Biden spoke with passion and a desire to get things done. I have watched almost all of the SOTU speeches in my adulthood, and never have I heard such a incisive speech. It made me feel this man means business, and as long as Congress allows, he will acheive most of what he listed last night.This is perhaps the benefit of Biden’s age and his many years on Capitol Hill and as VP: he knows what works, he knows what’s needed, and he knows how to get it done. He is not someone who wastes time, his age will not allow it. Under this motivation lies Biden’s faith, which I believe leads him to do as much as he can for as many as he can and mostly for those in need.

One particular section of his remarks I found poignant and more philosophical than others. Biden said that we have to show that Democracy works. That with the rise of dictatorship in the world and our brush with an autocratic man as president in the last 4 years, many in the world wondered if America — and liberal democracy — was a thing of the past.

Biden firmly said no, and that we need to work together to show the world we are back and back for good. His words, and that he felt a need to address this issue, were reassuring.

Liza Donnelly

Visual journalist/writer for New Yorker, New York Times, WaPo, CNN. TED, SXSW speaker. Looking to change world w humor. newsletter:https://lizadonnelly.substack