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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.

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SOTU Live Stream: (starts around 8:30pm ET)

Alternate streams: Fox News, WhiteHouse.gov

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.

Nate Ashworth :Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

View Comments (31)

  • John Lewis, Maxine Waters and Frederica Wilson aren't going to attend the State of the Union by President Trump. Oh no, can their absence be hidden from President Trump? I fear that he will cry a river over the no show.?

    The above three are nothing but big mouth glory hogs who are sure to speak up on issues that are of little relevance to anyone but them I can assure you, these three boobs will not be missed.?

      • Trump preferred they didn't come -- he didn't have to digress to 3rd grade to educate those with IQ'sunder 50.
        speaking of IQ's, my guess is POTUS is around 130 and beats any Libtard.

        • Nobody knows, of course, but here's a question I have: has he always spoken so simply, or is it a political ploy? I think Gore, Kerry, Stevenson, and Dewey lost because they were perceived as being "too smart." It's clear that Romney seemed too slick against the "all you folks" Obama. And, again, "give 'em Hell" Harry seemed like a clod compared to the erudite Dewey.

          I, personally, did an analysis of one of Trump's speeches, and it was fifth-grade language. A more extensive study recently said, on average, he speaks at a fourth-grade level. And he seems to purposely reinforce the image as a simpleton by saying things like, "I'm, like, really smart," and, "I know a lot of big words."

          I'm not saying esoteric words prove intelligence. Bob Dylan is a genius, and he purposely acted unschooled, the way Will Rogers did. So my question is, does Trump purposely talk down to people, or does he really not "know a lot of big words"?

      • Lol. Your wrong about Trump being a big mouth glory dig. Unless you're including JFK and Reagan in your comment.

        Trump has accomplished great things in his first year. There will be more to come.

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a Wednesday letter, urged Congress to extend the feds’ borrowing authority “as soon as possible” because his department has only enough to guarantee it can cover the bills through February.

    The Congressional Budget Office reassessed their timeline because of the new tax guidelines. Employers will withhold less taxes from their workers starting this month. That tax loss, formerly paid by employees, adds up to a $10 billion to $15 billion loss to the Treasury every month.

    Without another funding extension, the government shutters again next Thursday. Congress is now staring down its fifth short-term spending bill since September. Presently, Trump and the Republicans may not have enough votes to raise the debt ceiling.

    In his State of the Union address Trump did not say where he would get the money for all his proposed deals. He did ask for an infrastructure bill that unleashes $1.5 trillion, without describing how he could cover the cost. Unable to meet an already-growing shortfall because of give aways to the ultra rich, the Trump administration is bumping up its sales of government long-term debt to $66 billion this quarter.

    One problem that Trump did inherit was Guantanamo Bay and it’s 45 prisoners at a cost of 500 million dollars a year. Obama had promised to empty the facility and close it. Trump, on the other hand, has vowed to keep it open and repopulate it, saying that “we’re gonna load it up with some bad dudes, believe me, we’re gonna load it up.” Should Trump actually “load it up” then it would cost US taxpayers around 100 million dollars a year in upkeep.

    After all his tax cuts are in effect, where oh! where, will the federal government find the money for daily operations? Perhaps Trump, who used bankruptcy five times could show the government how to do it.

    • The US, except for 1 year, has been bankrupt since its formation, right?

      Will you give back your tax refund?

      • You must be reading the Midnight Twitter Shenanigans. You or the nation cannot be bankrupt unless declared so by a legal court. Ask the current president, who evaded his legal debts five times through personal bankruptcy courts.

        I do not live awaiting a tax return.

    • You're question about GITMO is pretty simple to answer. The bad dudes that President Trump was alluding to are American born white collar terrorists. Some of their names are familiar to you. They are both Clintons, Obama, Lynch, Holder, Comey, Page and many, many more Democrats.?

      The cost savings will come around when these white collar crooks to shave some time off of their sentences will begin doing the menial work at GITMO. I can just see it, Billary and Bubba will be on Latrine duty. O'Bugger, Lynch and Holder will be working in the Mess Hall as cooks, waiters and overall cleaners after meals. I am certain that Comey, Page and the other bad dudes and duddetes will be given other menial jobs that will result in an overall tax saving.?

      See you have no reason to worry about money. Worrying about the Democratic scum that will be sent to GITMO is another matter completely.?

      • I know that I should just accept the fact that you have a congenital intellectual impairment and let it go at that but I can’t help blurting out the truth “you are nuttier than a squirrel turd”.

        • Coming from a fruitcake like you I don't know how I should react to it. Are you living proof that LIBERALISM is a mental disease????

          • Just so you'll know the definition before you use the word "liberalism" again.

            Liberalism, political doctrine that takes protecting and enhancing the freedom of the individual to be the central problem of politics. Liberals typically believe that government is necessary to protect individuals from being harmed by others, but they also recognize that government itself can pose a threat to liberty.

          • I think you will agree with me that both the Democratic and Republican parties have their problems. But at this point in time the Democratic party is a gigantic mess. The fact that their adherents are so adamant in defending them is beyond me.?

          • I have never been one to go with the flow. To me, it is simply a case of right or wrong and sometimes maybe comes into play. No party, no one person, is always right. I live on the Texas coastline where the living is easy between the locals, the legals and the illegals. Too bad leaders in Washington continue to spews out so much prejudice and hate toward a selected group of people.

          • Is it really hate or is it an enforcement of US law? Something past presidents both Democratic and Republican have only given lip service to.?

          • Tell me, exactly which US law(s) you are referring to.

            A lot of presidents did pay frequent visits to lip service... right up to the point that someone tries to do something that they don't personally approve of. Of all past presidents, none compares to Trump in that department. Example: Trump allowed DACA to expire. To save the lives of over 600,000 children, Trump is demanding a $25 billion dollar ransom—the border wall.

          • And the Democrats are putting the needs of people here illegally over the welfare of the American workers in the Federal government. I know all these workers will be paid retroactively, however I would think some may be living paycheck to paycheck. These people will definitely remember this when it comes time to vote, regardless if they are Democrats or Republicans.?

          • America was built on the shoulders of countless refugees, our forefathers. These pioneering first-generation Americans had the grit, determination and unselfish perseverance to make a better life for themselves and their families in a foreign land that did not welcome them. Scorning and denying worthy refugees a home shames us as a free nation.

          • Your so full of shit and you just puke it out !!! Think LEGAL Immigrants. You and your rich Liberal friends take the refugees and illegals home and you feed, house, and tend to their needs. BTW tear down the fence around your domicile and invite in terrorists while your at it.

      • I have a problem with the American government sending American citizens to Gitmo. What if Obama had sent you? I assume you would have expected your inalienable rights. Remember that guys are sent there without being charged with a crime. Getting in the way of what the government wants to do could be the real reason you were sent

        • I agree - Gitmo should be for non-U.S Citizens. don't care who they really are, if convicted in a federal/Intl crime, suspend or cancel U.S.Citz . . . Ship ass to Gitmo . . . even then they'll probably get better care that if in our regular prisons.
          Wouldn't be cool to see Clinton's' together there in orange or hijab, should have ass-hole buddy Comey there too.

          Hi Goethe, How's Life? Still 'lean-left' and share "the hatred" for Trump? 1st response here in 6 mos. I'm still conservative so I can't handle most non-relative, or anti-patriotic behavior, a few others including any asshole who would pass-by a VET to give the gift or money to an illegal alien - It's simple: We are the most free Republic-Democracy in the world want stay that way. the combo of !st-2nd-4th-5th Amendments gives me rights to stay free.- stay that way.
          I don't see as many intelligent conversations sa some we got into.

          • Hey, Sam. Good to hear from you. I have been wondering about that, too. Do we have a process for stripping citizenship? I think I've heard of it. But I agree. Citizens should go through American courts.

            I "lean left" when read by a conservative, and I "lean right" when read by a liberal. I expect to get some good response from the new article that says Trump may be becoming very popular.

            Hope you're back to stay.

          • I did a little looking. It is possible to "denaturalize" a citizen, if he or she lied to get in, but most of the cases of removing citizenship was just to revoke naturalization.

            However, I did find this:

            if your government suspects you of terrorism or treason, it can confiscate your passport and, in some cases, even strip you of your citizenship. Then it can arrange for a cooperative government to assassinate you. . .

            Take that, you Occupy Wall Street hoodlums and Tea Party hooligans. If you become "hostile" in your opposition to the ruling party, you just might find yourself involuntarily expatriated and in permanent military detention. Or assassinated.

            https://www.nestmann.com/could-they-really-take-away-your-citizenship

          • Millennials - get your asses over to the country you are braggin' about and see what it's like. Until you had to live in the squalor outside of the U.S. then your citizenship goes in the Crapper and the rich socialist anarchists will take your Money and valuables and still want more cause you're not of THEIR family.

        • I don't know about you, but I haven't committed a crime to be sent to any jail. The current batch of Democrats, Obama included are the most corrupt scum I can ever remember seeing ever.?

          If I am correct the US has executed people for treasonous acts. The present lot of corrupt Democrats, Obama and the Clintons included better hope that the US doesn't go back to that.?

          • You're purposely obscuring the point. The point is that American citizens deserve Constitutional rights--by law--if you believe in law.

            Gitmo is a place the government puts people it doesn't like, with need to prove why they are there. You are usually paranoid about government control. Suddenly, you think the government is incapable of making a mistake? Or worse, punishing people who challenge it??