Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Was this a genius move? I'm not sure:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday asked President Donald Trump to reschedule his State of the Union address — or deliver it in writing — as long as the government remains shut down.

The president was set to give his annual speech to Congress on Jan. 29. But Pelosi said the partial shutdown has hamstrung both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security, potentially harming the security planning that precedes the primetime address.

"Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th," Pelosi wrote in a letter to Trump.
We're being told that this hits Trump in a sensitive spot: his ego. Yes, but it also looks as if Democrats are afraid to let him argue his case (even though he did a terrible job of that in his recent Oval Office speech). CNN's Kaitlan Collins is reporting that the speech was intended as an attack on Democrats:

The partisan takes are as you'd expect, but I think Americans who aren't partisans might come to the conclusion that Democrats are shutting down a message they don't want the public to hear, and are attacking an American institution.

On the other hand, I don't expect that this will be a big deal for most Americans -- they'll forget it in a few weeks. Also, I think Trump will find an alternate way to deliver some sort of State of the Union -- and this is where he's likely to fail.

He might make it an Oval Office address -- which is fine, because he's terrible at reading speeches off a prompter into an empty room. The other possibility will be a speech before a live audience -- maybe one of his rally crowds.

But how is that supposed to work? Those crowds don't want to hear a Stephen Miller prepared speech. They want Trump Unplugged -- improvising, doing favorite bits from memory, doing the "Who's going to pay for it? "Mexico!" call-and-response.

If he has any sense, he'll do one of those and say, "Here's my State of the Union -- take it or leave it." But he probably won't. He'll want to do a real speech, however awkward that may be. And yes, it will be awkward. It will bore the audience. So I think that will be Nancy's revenge.

No comments: