The Corner

Politics & Policy

The State of the Union Is . . . Unifying

I agree with most everyone else that it was a good performance. This point has been made over and over, but if Trump tried to strike this kind of tone all the time, he’d probably be at 47 percent and the party would be in much better shape heading into November. The content of the speech was pretty conservative and the exceptions — infrastructure, prescription drugs — were quite vague. The passages on MS-13 will drive the Left insane, and the general treatment of immigration, with its strong emphasis on the border, seemed to indicate he thinks he needs to shore up his right after his compromise proposal last week. I’m generally not a fan of recognizing people in the balcony, and Trump has taken it to another level. But given how he’s not a natural at projecting warmth, the recognition of ordinary heroes is helpful to him and there were a number of very moving stories. The ending hit utterly unobjectionable unifying notes. It was a night when we got a glimpse at what could be a boosterish, presidential Trump who might appeal to fence-sitters. But tomorrow is another day.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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