Joe Biden used Finland as an electoral weapon

Jonas Lehtonen

The US president has spoken about Finland in an important place and will continue to do so, writes Joonas Lehtonen, head of foreign affairs at Iltalehti.

Joe Biden Delivers State of the Nation Address All Over Press

Joe Biden passed his most important test with a clean slate.

The US president delivered his annual State of the Nation address in Washington the night before Friday, Finland time. This time, the public was more interested in not just what the president said, but how he said it.

The 81-year-old Biden's ability to survive was so predictable that the State of the Nation address was dubbed “Joe Biden's State of the Nation Address.”

The President's condition is stable based on the speech. This time, Biden, who has been mixing words and mixing names, has shown that he is adept at sharpening when needed. He acted so aggressively that Fox News entered a fringe medium. hint Due to the dubious and non-existent subjects of the President's speech.

Biden also showed he's not afraid to talk about his age.

– I know I don't need to be like that, but I've been here for a while, the president joked on the podium of the Congressional building.

In one of the best seats, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristerson followed the speech by someone familiar to Finns. He was sandwiched between Biden's wife, Jill, and Vice President Kamala Harris' husband, Doug.

The guests invited to the “First Lady's Court” are watched with great interest every year. Through his choices, the president can draw attention to topics and people important to him. For example, this year Biden asked the audience to ask for a glimpse. A woman waits for IVF in Old Alabama as reproductive rights emerge as a central theme in her campaign.

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Ulf Kristerson received a note from Joe Biden, who spoke about the state of the nation. Jill Biden, Doug Emhoff and other celebrities showed their support for him from the stands. All Over Press

Kristerson was honored at Sweden's big anniversary: ​​his country became NATO's 32nd member on Thursday. Biden praised this in his speech — and mentioned Finland at the same time.

– Last year we welcomed Finland to the alliance, Biden said to a well-deserved round of applause.

– This morning, Sweden officially joined NATO, and their prime minister is here today, Biden continued, and the audience cheered loudly again.

It was a rare treat for the small Nordic countries as part of the US president's most important speech of the year. Although it's an election year and the US president is often called the “leader of the free world,” foreign policy themes don't always take center stage in US presidential elections. Biden devoted much of his election-year policy speech to domestic issues such as the economy.

Biden also has his reasons for avoiding talking about foreign policy issues like the Gaza war. Almost no one seems happy with his actions in this regard.

Instead, he should highlight NATO, Finland and Sweden. Christerson, who sat prominently in Biden's speech, represented them all, in fact — and one of Biden's most prominent campaign themes.

The State of the Nation address was certainly also a campaign speech in an election year. Headlines for Biden's remarks have been dominated by his numerous burps, particularly about his opponent, Donald Trump.

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However, Biden avoided this name until the end, instead talking only about his “predecessor.”

One of the most attention-grabbing moments of the speech came when Biden commented on his predecessor's call for Russia to do “nothing” to NATO countries that did not invest enough money in their defense.

– I think this is outrageous, dangerous and reprehensible, roared Biden, who again received huge applause.

Biden tries to portray Trump as Vladimir Putin's lap dog. In his speech, the opposing president emphasized defending freedom and democracy against the tyranny of Putin's Russia.

In this context, an important role will also be played by Finland and Sweden, which are now on the same team as the United States – and which Biden likes to emphasize “saved” Putin from Russia. The message between the lines is that Trump is from another country.

Four years ago, Biden campaigned on a promise to restore his country's reputation in the world. In the current campaign, it is crucial for the sitting president to emphasize that US-led NATO has strengthened and expanded during his tenure.

The State of the Nation address won't be the last time Biden brags about Finland.

In his speech, Biden also emphasized the importance of supporting Ukraine. CNN

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