Alas for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., President Trump got to deliver his State of the Union address after all. And once again, America saw that Trump on the stump is very, very good. The speech Tuesday night was an important way for the president to reboot his standing with the American people. After a contentious several months and an unpopular partial government shutdown that hammered his approval ratings, Trump had a chance to remind the entire country why he was elected in 2016. That he did, with a CBS poll showing that 76 percent of viewers liked what they heard. In a speech that was interrupted 102 times by applause, President Trump rocked the House, delivering remarks that were at times moving, funny, inspiring, feisty and visionary. He appealed to lawmakers in both parties to rise above partisan politics and define victory as “not winning for one party but winning for our country.” The president appealed at one time or another to everyone in the chamber, reaching across the aisle on numerous occasions to promote popular causes like criminal justice reform, the elimination of childhood cancer or the eradication of AIDS. As he often does, President Trump celebrated the extraordinary accomplishments of our country. He asked Democrats to partner with him in “choosing greatness” and to “keep freedom alive in our souls.” He exhorted Congress to “think of this very chamber, where lawmakers before you voted to end slavery, to build the railroads and the highways, to defeat fascism, to secure civil rights, to face down an evil empire.” The president asked members of the House and Senate: “What will we do with this moment? How will we be remembered?” He framed his speech as a celebration of two great occasions: the 75th anniversary of D-Day that liberated Europe from the Nazis and the 50th anniversary of America’s moon landing. Heroes from both those historic undertakings were in the gallery, personifying the daring and selflessness that has characterized the United States throughout our history. How petty Democrats appeared by comparison. A large number of female lawmakers wore white to celebrate the suffragettes of the past; through most of the speech they sat on their hands. However, Trump broke through their grumpiness by celebrating the record number of women working in the U.S. today and the all-time high number of women in Congress. Even they couldn’t resist celebrating themselves, which they did with high fives and laughter. Trump’s guests in the gallery included veterans from the D-Day landing and a survivor of Nazi concentration camps who was enjoying his 81st birthday. Legislators sang “Happy Birthday” to him, surely a first in a State of the Union. The president hosted a cop who, despite being wounded seven times, subdued the man accused of killing 11 Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October. He invited former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who walked on the moon in 1969 – one of the proudest moments in our country’s history – and a young girl who is a brain cancer survivor.
And that’s just for starters! For more of this recap by Liz Peek, click on the text above. Trump definitely rocked the House Tuesday night! 🙂