The Wednesday Read: State of the Union Review

So let’s begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong. And together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America. – President Donald J. Trump (01/30/18)

Let’s face it – President Donald J. Trump is no President Barack Obama when it comes to delivering speeches. Not many can compete with Obama in that arena.

The first year in office is in the books for Trump. Now he owns the Presidency and the good and bad that happens along the way.

Tuesday night Trump delivered a decent *speech. He stayed on script for the most part and even when he could not get one Democrat to cheer for his ideas, he kept his cool and stayed the course. There were some Democrats who boycotted his speech. Like I wrote yesterday, anytime a member of Congress boycotts the SOTU address, no matter which party, this is pure pettiness. They should be adults and show up.

Trump kept his cool for the whole length of his speech – one hour and twenty minutes. That makes it the third-longest State of the Union speech in history. Bill Clinton owns the two longest speeches. Trump’s speech contained 5,830 words. (Source)

We’ll see if he can keep his cool on Twitter in the coming days.

USA Today had this to say:

…the most unconventional president in modern times, governing at a time of historic turbulence, delivered a conventional State of the Union that with some policy tweaks could have been given by any number of his recent predecessors.

The most remarkable thing about President Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday night may be that it wasn’t particularly remarkable.

Trump seemed to want to work together with both sides of the aisle – he tried a conciliatory tone in parts of his speech. The Daily Caller reports that President Trump used the word “I” 29 times in his speech, while using “we” 129 times. Another communal word used often by the president: “our,” which he used 104 times.

Trump introduced many guests which helped to lengthen his speech. Many of the guests had touching stories – they are a reflection of the everyday citizens of our country. These introductions were the best parts of his speech, although there could have been fewer guests.

The major problem with the President’s address is that it was short on specifics to accomplish the things he talked about. With an approval rating around 35-40%, many moderate Republicans and about all Democrats don’t think he is a threat to hurt them if they oppose him.

Politifact reported that President Donald Trump offered a rosy assessment of American life in his first State of the Union address — but several of his points were factually flawed. You can see where he was flawed by clicking HERE.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that boastful even within the traditional confines of a State of the Union speech, President Donald Trump inflated the impact of his tax cuts Tuesday night, declared an end to a “war” on energy that did not exist when he took office and displayed a faulty grasp of immigration policy. You can see the AP fact-checking HERE.

Trump said, “To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands — everywhere — we are with you, we love you, and we always will pull through together, always.”

I’m not sure the good folks in Puerto Rico feel they are loved and that the feds are with them. The Atlantic reported this week:

Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico in late September of last year, and residents are still struggling to regain their footing. Approximately 450,000 of Puerto Rico’s 1.5 million electricity customers are still without power, and those who do have electricity suffer frequent blackouts.

Trump talked about infrastructure investment. Who knows how we can pay for it, but this is something every state and every congressional district can use. This could be the one item that Congress and the President can agree on.

He will work on immigration reform but part of the plan is to build the wall. We’ll see how far this gets.

The President closed his speech on a pretty strong note talking about the American people and that “this Capitol, this city, this nation, belongs entirely to them.” He then says “Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.”

Here are the final few lines:

Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never, ever forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it’s the people who are making America great again. (Applause.)

As long as we are proud of who we are and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will never fail.

Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper. And our nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.

Thank you. And God bless America. Goodnight.

Overall I give the President a C+ or B- for the speech. I think most people thought it was good, but not great. Some are probably relieved that he stayed on script. If you liked Trump and his style before this speech, you still do. If you did not like Trump and his style before this speech, you still don’t.

You can grade the President on his speech by clicking HERE. Click refresh if it does not work.

*You can read the whole State of the Union speech for yourself by clicking HERE.




2 thoughts on “The Wednesday Read: State of the Union Review

  1. FEMA is ceasing it’s operations in Puerto Rico. Yeah, “we’re with them”.

    Have you ever seen a POTUS applauding himself as much as tRump did?

    Clinton’s had twice as many words in his speeches.

    I gave him a D for a couple of small good ideas I have now forgotten.

    In related news, a trainload of Republicans on their way to a strategy retreat struck a garbage truck in WV today, killing one and injuring 2 in the truck. There are jokes to be had in that unfortunate incident.

    • Doug – Thanks. Poor Puerto Rico. I was not so much aware of his applauding himself as he was clapping near the microphone. Ticks me off. As for the train wreck, can you imagine being a reporter arriving on the scene and about 500 members of Congress wanting to get on camera? I wonder if anyone was hurt doing that? Thanks again, -JmB

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