Tuesday night’s State of the Union address by President Trump gave Americans a sneak peak into what it would look like if the president spent more time on message and less time on Twitter. Trump was poised, presidential, and tempered. Trump offered insight into his agenda for the upcoming year and touched on hot button issues such as economy, immigration, infrastructure, and foreign policy.
For the second time in his presidency, there were zero surprises or gotcha moments. Trump’s speech called for bipartisanship and building a safe, strong America. Touting the success achieved over the past year under his presidency, such as Republicans passing tax reform to reshaping the federal judiciary, Trump used his time to call on Congress to work together, saying “I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people.”
In his State of the Union, Trump focused more heavily on ‘we’ than ‘me’, offering Americans a glimmer of hope, of a shift into a president who was ready to be disciplined. Declaring a new American moment is upon us, Trump might just be right as long as he is able to maintain this kind of poise for more than a 24 hour period.
As Republicans look ahead to the 2018 midterms, they will need a party leader who is less impulsive and more strategic in his behavior. If Trump spends more time as the man America saw at the lectern on Tuesday night, there is a real chance for the GOP to maintain control in both the House and the Senate.
A CNN snap poll following the speech found that 70% of viewers had a positive reaction to the speech, with 48% saying they had a very positive response to Trump’s address. While it is still too early to say whether or not Tuesday night’s State of the Union was a seismic shift in Trump’s behavior as president or just top notch stagecraft, the opportunity for an improved Trump presidency and a chance to be in a commanding position in American politics is vast.
Here’s hoping Trump seizes the moment and owns it, because America considers these minutes golden.