No one was quite sure what to expect from the president’s first State of the Union. He has been known to go off of the teleprompter before and thanks to his frequent tweeting many were expecting his speech to be controversial. However, the one hour and twenty-minute speech was devoid of any ad lib and, for the most part, remained relatively conventional.
He touched on a variety of issues including immigration, the economy, foreign policy, infrastructure, and his deregulation agenda. His talk included a four-pillar immigration plan which would allow amnesty for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were taken into America by their parents at a young age, a marked shift from his stance on this issue earlier in his presidency. His plan also included $25 billion for the funding of a border wall with Mexico and ending of the process of “chain migration”, in which illegal immigrants can bring their family over after crossing the border.
The speech seems to have resonated with those watching. According to a CBS News Poll, 97% of Republicans, 43% of Democrats and 72% of independents approved of his speech. These numbers hint at President Trump’s public speaking abilities and suggest that he managed to sound bipartisan in his remarks.
Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy delivered the Democratic response to the speech. In his own speech, he spoke of income inequality faced by millions of Americans and denounced President Trump’s recently passed tax bill.
Ultimately, the State of Our Union has come to a turning point. Do both parties come together to work on projects like infrastructure, or will issues like DACA continue to divide them?