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The State of the Union — Open Thread

I’ll be on radio nationwide after this is over, taking your reaction to it.  You can call in at 1-877-97-ERICK.  You can watch the livestream at

I’m going to keep this going through the speech. Feel free to use the comments to chime in with your own thoughts.

1. Here we go. “Madam Speaker.” A first for the Trump presidency. And we’re seeing a bunch of people who’ve been waiting all evening. What we are not seeing is some of the usual suspects who’ve, in the past, waited all day.

2. The President always seems so subdued when he uses a teleprompter. And the applause is already ridiculous.

3. We’re going to get infrastructure week, aren’t we?

4. The World War II vets is a nice touch.


6. Good to focus on the middle class.

7. “The politics of revenge.” Oh and Nancy goes crazy for “compromise” reaching over to applaud the President.

8. Bernie Sanders not clapping at the good economic news. He’s taking notes for his own rebuttal. Democrats are mad at him because of that.

9. The applause is a bit much.

10. The President has a good list of accomplishments and the data to back those up. Consider all those things and then consider his approval rating.

11. “Ridiculous partisan investigations.”

12. And the President’s anti-investigation lines fall flat largely even with the GOP.

13. Criminal justice reform is a real bipartisan moment here and the President is good to highlight both the law and the people benefited by it.

14. The President is really pushing how his administration has helped the hispanic and African-American communities with both employment data and the criminal justice reform.

15. Touching moment with Matthew Charles, whose case really helped speed up passage of criminal justice reform.

16. Uh-oh, the President is giving the countdown in days till the next shutdown. Tying it to border control and illegal immigration.

17. The President is announcing more troops to the border to deal with the next caravan. Sounds like some Democrats booed.

18. President Trump really likes the Stephen Miller line about rich people behind gates and guards failing to do anything about illegal immigration and related crime.

19. “Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate. It is actually very cruel.” That’s actually a good line when coupled with the issue of human trafficking.

20. The media really, really hates (as do the Democrats) when the President highlights victims of illegal alien crime. But it is damn effective. And the optics of Nancy Pelosi not applauding that family really is a heck of a contrast.

21. The crime stats were good and useful and provide the President the best argument he has made on the need to secure the border. He also does a better job of explaining his wall concept. He should have been doing this before the shutdown.

22. “Walls work and walls save lives.” While the GOP will agree with this, I think the President’s data based arguments are more convincing.

23. Yay women. He’s got them on a bipartisan moment. And now they’re chanting USA over women in Congress.

24. Not a fan of the tariffs that he wants to double down on.

25. Uh-oh. I felt some pain in my wallet when the President went down the healthcare route with drug prices. Democrats like this too and I hope the President has a bias towards the free market and not government regulation.

26. No one can be opposed to fighting AIDS or childhood cancer. This is a tearjerker bipartisan moment. But I’m also a bit concerned with where the money is going to come from for all these things. Call me crazy, but I still think the debt and deficit matter.

27. Okay, can we admit it was a very awkward transition from cure childhood cancer with $500 million to school choice? I mean, yay school choice, but right after childhood cancer and without much of a transition and then straight to paid family leave.

28. Good for the President on the infanticide issue. Good for the President.

29. OK, another awkward transition. All children are made in the image of God so let’s pivot to national security. These are some weird transitions.

30. Can we admit these are weird transitions? “Let’s cure childhood cancer for $500 million. School choice is awesome. All children are made in the image of God so let’s fund NATO and deal with national security.”

31. At the end he gets to North Korea.  Good to point out the lack of missile launches, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the North Koreans launch tomorrow just as a middle finger.

32.  Very interesting that the President will go to Vietnam.  The Vietnamese actually want closer relations with us now because of China.

33.  The bipartisan applause on the Venezuelan issue is a good thing.

34.  Dig at socialism.  Might as well have name checked AOC and Bernie, neither of whom are clapping.

35.  I think this President really is locked in on bringing our troops home from Afghanistan and I think a lot of people will welcome that.

36.  How many days have we been watching this applause laced with words?

37. Good on the President highlighting the attack on the synagogue in Pennsylvania.  It is an issue that has been forgotten and shouldn’t be.

38.  That’s so sweet — singing Happy Birthday to the survivor.  So very kind.  Just lovely.  Then the “they wouldn’t do that for me” and the laughter.  It was a sweet moment.   Y’all that whole moment and the story of his family’s rescue from the Holocaust is just tremendous.

39.  I hope the speech ends after this because the President is not going to be able to top this.  This is really well done.

40. Is anyone going to be around to pay attention to Stacey Abrams’ speech? Is this part of the strategy?

41.  The optics and rhetoric of this speech really are well done.  He is giving the best speech like this of his Presidency.  The question is what happens tomorrow.  I suspect by the end of the week we won’t be talking about any of this.  And that’s the problem.

I’ll be on radio nationwide after this is over, taking your reaction to it.  You can call in at 1-877-97-ERICK.  You can watch the livestream at


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