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Analysis of Biden's State of the Union address and Gov. Reynolds' GOP response

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. He began by condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, touted the sanctions aimed at cutting Russia off from funding for the war and drawing a line in the sand where NATO countries are concerned. He also spent time talking about fuel prices, inflation and other economic worries, and he tried to find areas of broad consensus where Congress could act.

In her GOP response, Gov. Kim Reynolds reminded Americans about the last time the U.S. experienced widespread inflation and tried to connect with their concerns. Reynolds talked about the importance of parents and highlighted her efforts to keep schools open throughout the pandemic and cut state taxes. Her choice for the high-profile assignment has raised speculation about Reynolds' future political ambitions.

In this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer gets impressions from the State of the Union and GOP response from political analysts Rachel Paine Caufield and Dennis Goldford of Drake University.


  • Dennis Goldford, professor of political science, Drake University
  • Rachel Paine Caufield, professor of political science, Drake University
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Katherine Perkins is IPR's Program Director for News and Talk