Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address is in the can. Here’s what we learned:
- The speech was long and he appeared to stick to the teleprompter . As expected, Trump boasted of a strong economy, tax cuts, job creation and he called for infrastructure spending all done in the expected self congratulatory style he is known for.
- In dramatic effect and in traditional Trump style he covered off a topic many thought would be left aside the ongoing confrontation with North Korea. As such he introduced the family of Otto Warmbier, the late American student who was tortured by the regime, and also introduced defector Ji Seong-ho, who created what was intended to be the powerful image of him holding his crutches aloft.
- Trump discussed an alleged gang murder of two teenage girls. The purpose of which was to somehow validate the requirement for immigration reform. He spoke of the path to citizenship for so-called “Dreamers”, undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children many of whom have have never known another country, but as has been the stumbling block on agreement around their status it was again presented as being linked to having a “great wall”. Boos then echoed around the chamber when he spoke of “chain migration” in which family members join those who have settled in America. He incorrectly said this was extended to all family members which is not true.
- Trump proudly claimed “our new American moment,” but then followed that up with stories about the MS-13 gang, insisting on a requirement for a nuclear buildup and an order to keep the Guantanamo Bay prison open. With Guantanamo Bay prison which had been something Barack Obama had worked to have closed down.