Open Thread: Trump’s First State of the Union Address
President Trump will present his first Sate of the Union address tonight to Congress and the American people. Here is a little rundown of what to expect this evening. The speech itself begins at 9pm ET (6pm PT), but coverage should start a half hour before then on every broadcast and cable news channel. You can also watch it live right here at the YouTube embed below. Take this as an open thread to discuss all things SOTU.
Now, let’s get on to a rundown of what’s happening today in SOTU news.
First, CNN reports on the content of the President’s speech, which will be heavy on the President touting his first year success:
The White House says Trump will use Tuesday night’s address to assert that his cuts in taxes and regulation have unleashed a new era of economic prosperity as he seeks to garner credit for achievements he believes have not yet won sufficient recognition.
He will maintain that he is rebuilding the US military and restoring an American posture of “peace through strength” in the world. Trump will also take the chance to sell his plan to shield from deportation undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children in return for massive funding for his border wall, a proposal that Democrats have already rejected. The President is also expected to push his infrastructure plan — one initiative that might win some Democratic support.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders promised that Trump’s speech, which he practiced in a full run-through on Monday, would be “incredible.”
“We’ve got an economy that is booming. ISIS is on the run. We’re remaking the judiciary in a way that actually believes in upholding the Constitution. There are some great things happening in this country,” Sanders said Monday.
As is customary, the party out of power will deliver a “response” to the President’s SOTU. This year, Rep. Joe Kennedy III, a Democrat hailing from Massachusetts, will be speaking after the president to give his party’s perspective on how the last year has gone, according to USAToday:
After President Trump delivers his first State of the Union on Tuesday, the Democrats will deliver a response to his remarks. This year, the duty goes to Rep. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts, the grandson of former Sen. Robert Kennedy.
The practice of giving a rebuttal to the president’s speech dates back to 1966, when Republicans delivered a response to Lyndon B. Johnson’s address. According to the Senate, it became an annual tradition in 1982, during the Reagan administration.
No word on what Kennedy will be speaking on, but inevitably it will touch on similar themes to that of President Trump.
There are also three Democrats who will be boycotting the President’s speech, according to CNN:
Following criticism surrounding Trump’s reported vulgar comments about various nations during a closed-door meeting about immigration reform, Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, said he would not attend.
“At this junction, I do not plan to attend the State of the Union,” Lewis said on MSNBC.
“I cannot in all good conscience be in a room with what he has said about so many Americans. I just cannot do it,” he added.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, a harsh Trump critic, also said she wouldn’t be going.
When asked on MSNBC if she had plans to go, she said: “Oh, no.”
“Why would I take my time to go and sit and listen to a liar?” she later said.
Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, shared a similar sentiment on Twitter, and posted that she could not attend.
“I cannot in good consciousness attend the #SOTU address after the president went so low in his remarks about Haiti & African nations. It would be hypocrisy to go to an event at which he is honored,” she tweeted.
In other news, late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel announced he has booked Stormy Daniels to be on his show tonight as his “rebuttal” to the President’s speech, according to Deadline:
Donald Trump is gearing up for his first State of the Union speech, and Jimmy Kimmel is gearing up for his first interview with the porn star Wall St. Journal says President Donald Trump paid off.
“I got a number of emails from a number of very envious fellow late night hosts about this booking,” Kimmel revealed Monday night, adding, “I have a lot of questions for Stormy.”
The State of the Union is the one day of the year presidents are supposed to brag about their accomplishments. “So he’s been training for this, really for his whole life,” Kimmel theorized.
The theme of Trump’s first SOTU is “safe, strong, proud” – “based on the three words he never heard from his father,” Kimmel said.
“That’s the son of a bitch who’s responsible, Fred Trump.”
Tickets to Tuesday night’s event were printed calling it Trump’s “Address to the Congress on the State of the Uniom.”
Kimmel has become a frequent critic of the President and Republican policies at large. He is part of the recent trend of late-night TV hosts bending leftward rather than trying to maintain a “down the middle” approach to bashing both sides.
Should be an interesting evening. As a political nerd, I can’t wait for the clap count.
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