A president’s first state of the union message is an important occasion. But in our era of political theater, there is some danger that this year the sideshow will overshadow the main attraction.
Several Democratic members of Congress say they will boycott the event. One Congresswoman is encouraging females who do attend to dress in black.
Despite the political challenges, “it’s the economy, stupid.” If Trump makes this primarily an economic address, he can succeed. Think about it: unemployment is down, jobs are up and the stock market is on fire. His big piece of legislation, the tax bill, is projected to lead to even more economic growth. The president has problems elsewhere, but so far so good on the economy and that should be his message.
The Constitution does not actually require this kind of televised state of the union address, though tradition does. It’s always possible that a nontraditional president like Trump might surprise us and do something completely different.