The State of the Union went off without a hitch last night as the president delivered a speech that had over 80% approval.
As I watched from my hotel room in Beijing, China, the president wisely hit on all of the major topics he needed to discuss — immigration, the economy, jobs, foreign policy — while using powerful personal stories to drive home his points.
He did well. Despite grandstanding democrats like Senator Cory Booker (NJ) claiming the president was being divisive, the bulk of the country did not see it that way at all.
In addition to the overwhelming positive poll numbers regarding the speech itself, the president’s approval rating ticked up, he closed the gap in generic Trump vs D polling, and his tax cut bill — which was once incredibly unpopular — is now polling dead even in the categories of approve and disapprove.
For their part, the Democrats sent multiple speakers out for the post state of the Union response, including Joe Kennedy III. Bless his heart, the young man has the political pedigree, but sounded more like some weird Massachusetts version of Will Ferrell trying to imitate George W Bush than a serious political threat.
And what is it about Democrats and political dynasties, anyway? Was the Rockefeller family unavailable?
Kennedy sounded the same “the president is divisive” alarm that every Democrat has been screaming for over two years now, but you have to wonder how many people have just tuned them out by now. It’s odd to hear complaints about the president being a vague talker with no real policy ideas from a party of people who just shoved a young Kennedy out there to essentially talk vaguely and put forth zero policy ideas.
I saw a joke going around on social media saying that Vice President Pence must have super glued the Democrats to their chairs. Makes sense since with the exception of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, none of them seemed to move all night.
That may play well with their base, but to independent voters — the ones who actually swing elections — history tells us that kind of stunt comes off as petty. You mean to tell me they couldn’t even find it within themselves to applaud an infrastructure bill that they would be calling the greatest bill of all time if it had been proposed by Hillary Clinton? The phoniness is pretty transparent.
If you hate the president and live to criticize him for anything and everything he does, then feel free to lie to yourself that last night was not a win for him. But I saw what I saw and heard what I heard, and by the looks of those poll numbers, so did a lot of other people as well.