Le deputate e senatrici democratiche in bianco per ricordare a Trump l'importanza delle donne)
President Trump delivered a strong speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, an address sure to embolden both the chief executive and congressional Republicans who support him.
I watched, tweeted and took some notes about the best and the worst of the night. My picks are below.
* Donald Trump: This was the best “big” speech he has given as president. It may well have been the best speech Trump has given since he entered politics way back in June 2015. Trump didn't walk away from his decidedly dark vision of the current state of the country, but his overall tone was more conciliatory and optimistic than I've ever heard him.
Trump hit a few very nice notes: His condemnation of threats against Jewish community centers at the start of the speech was a very nice grace note, and his honoring of the widow of the Navy SEAL killed in the recent Yemen raid was a remarkably powerful moment.
Critics will rightly point out that several of Trump's claims — about the rising violence in America, for example — missed the factual mark by a wide margin. And, at times, Trump seemed to be on the verge of returning to his confrontational self — particularly when discussing immigration and the border wall.
But, top to bottom, Trump delivered both a forceful defense of his nationalist worldview — “My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America,” he said at one point — and a proof point that he can be, dare I say it, presidential when the moment demands it.
* Congressional Republicans: Anyone who tells you House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) weren't a little bit worried about how Trump would do on Tuesday night — and what that would mean for his ability to rally Republicans going forward — is lying to you. Trump's speech will go a long way to quieting the nerves of congressional Republicans and convincing them that Trump might just be capable of being the president they desperately hope he can be. His address will serve as a validation for the likes of Ryan and McConnell, who have steadfastly supported Trump throughout the rough seas of his first month in office. Polarization: If you needed to understand just how polarized our politics are, the repeated shots of Republicans rising to cheer Trump while Democrats sat on their hands would do it. The theater of the State of the Union is always a bit overdone but what was clear from the start on Tuesday night was that Republicans were bound and determined to cheer for virtually everything Trump said and that Democrats were bound and determined to do the exact opposite.