The State of the Union is boring

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by Jennifer Rubin,

from The Washington Post,

“shapeless and flabby”

President Trump reportedly loves the State of the Union. And why not? It’s a narcissistic dream. Both houses of Congress, Supreme Court justices, the diplomatic corps and all the press are there. One can understand why Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to withdraw the invitation until the government opened might have been the savviest maneuver in the new Congress.

This year’s State of the Union visuals, which usually favor the president, were not optimal for Trump. First, sitting in her speaker’s chair. Pelosi hovered over Trump during his speech. As if that were not enough of an intrusion into his supposedly solo act, scores of Democratic women in suffragist white populated the audience. Both reminded viewers that the mostly all-male GOP House majority is gone.

Moreover, Trump’s slow delivery lacked energy and seemed designed to lull rather than engage his audience. Granted there were more Democrats in the room, but applause was hardly robust or sustained — and only occasionally bipartisan. A reference to the large number of women in Congress elicited a chant of “USA! USA!” Between the speed of his delivery and the length of his remarks, the president’s speech felt interminable. (The same chant was deployed by a clique of Republicans, for example, in response to Trump’s straw-man argument that America will never become socialist.)

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