January 30, 2018

President Trump's first State of the Union

Tonight president Trump will deliver his first State of the Union to Congress.  He's got a lot of accomplishments to talk about and many Democrats will of course, skip the whole thing but it won't stop them from talking about it as if it were the worst thing ever.  Nevertheless, my prediction is that the speech will be polished and he will be at his most presidential he has been in his presidency.

He will stray off script, he'll use the word beautiful a little too often.  But he will be more polished than ever.  The State of the Union is a tremendous opportunity to lay out not only his accomplishment but his vision for the coming year or years.  Given that there are midterm elections this year, he has to come across as the right man for the job if he wants more Republicans in the senate for his second term. Consequently he will be substantive, mostly on script and will deliver it with a more presidential demeanor.  But he is still Donald Trump, and in his calculus, there has to be the notion that he has to be himself to connect with voters because that is what got him elected.  So I expect a bit of improvisation and some Trumpisms sprinkled in there. 

As for the content, there will be plenty of places that will speculate about it so even though I have my thoughts I won't bother to detail them except to say one thing. I don't expect a mention of the memo about the FBI and DOJ, or if there is a mention it will be brief. The mention of that will draw jeers from Democrats but far more importantly it will detract from the golden opportunity to look presidential and that should be the main goal tonight.  The only way mentioning the memo, or collusion or the congressional investigation would merit inclusion in that context is either (1) it helps speed the Mueller investigation into non-existence or (2) it advances the effort, very visibly, to the goal of draining the swamp.  I don't believe the memo, while likely to be very useful and telling, will be strong enough to accomplish either of those goals.  I could be wrong, we'll see.
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