The Pnyx: On the State of the Union

Joshua Schuetz
Staff Writer

U.S. President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday was an effective speech, and one that was clearly designed with the new Democratic House of Representatives in mind.

The president touted the creation of jobs-particularly in manufacturing-and women’s gains in employment, amongst other economic successes. 

It was a remarkably orthodox speech, for the president. Unlike the “American Carnage” of his inauguration speech, this address was generally quite positive in tone and content.

The president honored World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors, and called for funding for the elimination of AIDS and the treatment of childhood cancer. 

Immigration came up, of course, as is to be expected. But it was not the central topic of the evening. The tax cuts were mentioned sparingly. 

But the combativeness came back, at times. Socialism was decried, a clear jab at Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But another thing was decried, “partisan investigations”, likely referring to both the Mueller investigation and House Democratic attempts to engage in further investigation of the administration. 

That statement will likely receive the lion’s share of media attention, given how much it deviated from the remainder of the speech. Nevertheless, it’s fairly clear that this address constitutes a political win for president Trump. What remains to be seen is if the priorities laid out will be acted upon.

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