“This was probably the worst delivered speech I’ve heard Donald Trump give. He ran over his lines, he mixed up, he didn’t deliver his punch lines, he would deliver a line and go to the next issue, and I don’t think he even realized he was moving on to the next issue.”
— Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), discussing President Trump’s State of the Union address on CNN…..
A new CNN poll found the television audience for President Trump’s State of the Union speech “had the largest partisan tilt measured in any CNN instant poll following a presidential address to Congress dating back to 2001 — viewers were roughly 17 points more likely than the general public to identify as Republicans, and were largely fans of the President.”
“In pre-speech surveys, 61% of speech-watchers said they approved of the job he was doing as President, compared with 40% in CNN’s latest representative survey of all American adults.”….
First Read: “Overall, we’re not sure Trump’s collection of statements last night added up to a cohesive message at all. It felt mostly like a cleaned-up version of his Twitter feed.”…
John Harris: “President Trump’s State of the Union address, as it unfolded, was a dizzying and even disorienting experience, a cascade of rhetorical passages that seemed to contradict each other every few moments.”
“Appeals for unity and bipartisanship jostled with ideological and cultural scab-picking. Theatrics used by all modern presidents to swell the heart or moisten the eye — We are joined in the gallery tonight by… — were followed by the honking boasts of a MAGA rally.”
“At first blush this all may have seemed like incoherence, as though the speech was a composite of recommendations from warring factions, every zig offset by a whiplashing zag. But taken as a whole, the address revealed a clear strategic purpose — one designed to revive and strengthen the ideological connection between the Trump of 2019 with the Trump who first began his astonishingly effective takeover of the Republican Party four years ago.”….
Playbook: “There was definitely a weird vibe. It seemed a tad bit emptier than usual. Just two Democrats sat on the aisle to greet the president. Democrats chatted during parts of the speech. They barely stood, even when the president rattled off statistics about the growing economy that would’ve, in other years, had both sides on their feet.”
“The depleted House Republican minority was on its feet frequently, chanting and cheering, hooting and hollering months after their 40-seat loss. They were especially inspired when the president said there could not be ‘ridiculous, partisan investigations’ into his administration, perhaps forgetting that they investigated Barack Obama in ways that could be described in similar words.”
Los Angeles Times: “In his 1 hour, 22 minute speech to a joint session of Congress — one of the longest on record — Trump addressed two audiences and tried to accomplish two goals at odds with each other. Even as he exhorted members of Congress to come together on an agenda of shared legislative interests, he provoked Democrats on immigration, abortion and investigations of his administration.”
Politico: “President Donald Trump urged bipartisanship during his State of the Union address Tuesday. Then he promptly called for Democrats to help him build a border wall, enact a new abortion ban and preemptively end the House’s investigations. Needless to say, it did not go over well.”….