State of the Union addresses are not worth it if you aren’t going to put in the post-speech time to push it. The President has missed a real opportunity to sell the American people on his immigration points. He stayed in Washington over the shutdown while Democrats traveled. Even prior to the shutdown, he did little. One stop to the border was not enough.
The CBS poll from last night showed that 72% of listeners agreed with the President’s points on immigration. It was the most substantive speech on immigration that he has given. The President also made a key, overlooked concession on immigration during his speech. He said he’d only put border walls where the border patrol wants them. They’ve been pretty consistent on where they want them since the Obama era.
If President Trump wants to keep things advancing on this front, he needs to get on Air Force One ASAP and make the case to the American public in swing states. He needs to go to Florida and say what he said last night about wanting lots and lots of legal immigration. He needs to go to Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Wisconsin. He needs to go to Michigan.
He needs to highlight the crime. He needs to highlight the numbers. He needs to highlight the costs to society. He needs to memorize that passage from his State of the Union address and barnstorm the nation today.
A failure to do so would signal the White House political team isn’t prepared to capitalize on these events and that should be a worrisome sign for 2020. Even worse, it might suggest the constituency for this isn’t really there.
Get on the campaign trail, Mr. President.