One week from now, President Donald J. Trump delivers his first state of the union address to the nation.
You may recall that he addressed a joint session of Congress back in February and surprised many with a relatively calm (for him) stick-to-the-script speech. This time, I expect he’ll bring more fire and fury if not facts. His strength has always been self aggrandizement and this is the perfect opportunity for him to bring it with both barrels. Expect him to spend the majority of time talking about his many great accomplishments, more accomplishments in fact, than any President in history has ever achieved. All this in spite of the non stop obstruction of the Democrats and fake news media. I also think it will be a very personal speech for him, attacking people and reporters by name. One thing I think we won’t get is any major new policy announcements or initiatives.
For the response, I think the Democrats should be using this to their advantage in the mid terms rather than trying to fast track a nominee for 2020. Sure, spend a few minutes tying the Republican party to Trump and reminding them of what a scumbag he is but then start focusing on building the 2018 theme. Turn the conversation away from Pelosi and Obama and towards people like Patty Schachtner and her message of helping everyday people. Talk about the common man and what they’re doing to help them and then show how Republican policies are going to hurt their children in the long run by adding debt, increasing the wealth disparity between rich and middle class and ruining the environment. Make it an emotional appeal.
For those drinking along at home, I think the bingo buzzwords to watch out for will be “Russia” and “Fake” in the same sentence.
I predict it’ll be fairly boilerplate and reasonably well-composed, but when Trump reads a phrase he likes (and was not previously familiar with, as he’ll have had no part in writing the address), he’ll go off on a semi-coherent tangent that will be widely considered the highlight.
Kim Jong Un will get a mention, and either a clever new nickname, a new threat to incinerate Pygongyang, or Trump will claim credit for the latest dialog between the Koreas. Also we’ll hear how villainous and untrustworthy China is.
He’ll be praising everything from how he saved the banks and auto companies, all the way to his help with something that never happened (like exposing Obama as a Kenyan Muslim). Jokes about Mexico and Hillary. Yada yada. I’m hoping he’ll make an excuse to cancel it and not embarrass an entire nation.
He’ll trudge through some crap that he’s never read before, and so long as he gets through it without pooping on the floor, the cable news will declare it to be the most presidential address since Lincoln’s second inaugural.
“[The President] shall From time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
[INDENT] – US Constitution, Article II, Section 3
[/INDENT]Note that it doesn’t say the President has to do this every year on a given date, nor that he has to deliver the State of the Union in person before a joint session of Congress.
I’d love to see a president decide to skip the annual SOTU rigamarole, and just send out a white paper, from “time to time”.
Works for me.
(By the way, my desire to can the SOTU is a bipartisan one - the SOTU is a waste of time, mere political posturing that achieves nothing, no matter the political affiliation of the incumbent.)
I can’t help wondering if he’ll stick to the script. My guess is he will at first, but as he and his ego warm up, he’ll go off-script. Who’s giving the Democratic response? Whoever it is should be prepared to adjust the response to address any idiotic/incendiary off-the-cuff remarks.
I predict that three quarters of the way through he’ll mumble, glug some water (half of which will dribble down his chin), choke on the water, and collapse. Other than this, the speech will be unremarkable.
All of this. The usual SOTU address is largely content-free anyway, and the novelty of a president unable to give a coherent speech without deviating into rambling incoherence, petty sniping and/or delusional self-aggrandizement wore off long ago.
And the triggering of millions of Republican snowflakes complaining about how mean Democrats are.
My money is on the more scripted address. Afterwards, however, he will claim that it had the highest ratings ever (in fact, that may end up being true but not for the reasons he thinks). It will have been the best SOTU address given by any President ever! Just tremendous!