After a slight delay because he partially shut down the federal government to not get his precious border wall, President Donald J. Trump got to make his hotly-anticipated State of the Union address. It was our commander-in-chief in play-nice mode, sort of, most of the time, except when he slipped and said something that got an awkward, if not quite hostile, response. Rather than ranting and raving à la his beloved rally speeches, Trump was in pomp mode — i.e., he slowly and indifferently recited copy he probably never wrote a word of while sniffing a lot.
Trump bragged about some of the good things, like the strong economy and the recent job surge that have materialized despite the fact that he shut down the government for 33 days while 800,000 employees weren’t paid, on top of untold stiffed contractors who will never be reimbursed for their losses. He also repeated his usual line about border security: He said it was necessary to stop human trafficking while demonizing immigrants in the face of scared (white) potential voters. Also he said it was probably no longer an actual wall! Instead it will be of some as-yet-to-be-determined substance.
Trump also, awkwardly, addressed a few elephants in the room. Of the numerous investigations into his potential wrongdoings, he said, “There cannot be war and investigations…it just doesn’t work that way.” That received a weird silence and some loud chair-shifting. He also at one point praised all the new women in the workforce, which prompted all the new female Representatives — including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and all of whom wore white in solidarity — to stand up, cheer, and shout “USA!”, all while Trump tried to play it off as a win for him.