from Conservative Review:
Trump must commit to ensuring policy overrides personality.
Almost all of President Trump’s prepared policy speeches in primetime have been well written and capably delivered in the proper tenor. While State of the Union addresses in recent years have become less impactful, Trump’s speeches always have the potential to open the ears of more voters to his message because those turned off by him are primarily hostile to his persona, not his message. The fact that he delivers a serious and substantive speech gets him more mileage than a typical president. Thus, there is no doubt, much like last year’s address to Congress, this one will be well received, perhaps more so.
The speech was perfectly written to blend together the president’s unorthodox way of approaching issues together with formal rhetoric, story-telling, and props. Unlike with Clinton and Obama, the fact that this was a lengthy speech was actually a good thing. Americans need to hear this version of Trump more often. And those watching the optics of the speech were entreated to a spectacle where he looked quite moderate and the Democrats looked extreme beyond anything we’ve seen before – where there is no regard for American dreamers, victims of illegal alien crime, success against terrorists, or standing for the national anthem.
Now, the key for the President is to follow up the next day and the ensuing week with policies that actually seize on this momentum rather than undermining his broader message. If the President would follow up with a series of primetime speeches with a serious demeanor on the important issues, it would be a game-changer for his presidency.
Whereas Obama’s personality was well liked until the bitter end and his policies were unpopular, Trump’s policies would be popular if not for the taint of his unpopular personality. However, much of that taint comes from 140 characters or backhanded comments defined more by the media than himself. He should, therefore, consider a formal televised address from the Oval Office every week reviewing the state of play and forcefully promoting his agenda. The worst thing he can do at this point, however, is to follow up on this speech with another Twitter distraction.
As it relates to policy, there is nothing really new in this speech, as has been the case with most recent SOTU addresses. Trump touted the many conservative policies we support but also promoted some liberal policies on paid family leave, job training programs, and federal control of transportation spending that we oppose. He said a lot of good things on immigration but included his misguided plan for open-ended amnesty.
It is important to note that there were two glaring omissions from this speech: a call for making the tax cuts permanent and for repealing Obamacare.
As he showcased the amazing economic news directly related to the tax cuts, it would have been the perfect time to stare down Democrats, Bernie Sanders in particular, and demand they make the tax cuts permanent.