Forget the pomp and antics. The electorate is growing increasingly impatient. This State of the Union is for them
OPINION — Let’s start with the fact that I’m writing this before, not after, the State of the Union. (Deadlines are sometimes inconvenient.) So, with that caveat in place, I’m going to suggest that whatever Donald Trump said in his speech, whatever antics the Democrats planned to distract and disrupt the proceedings, what matters most isn’t the reaction in the House chamber or the post-speech punditry. What matters is whether the president’s words and his vision for the future connect with a decidedly divided American public.
It’s an understatement to say that there isn’t much that partisan America seems to agree on these days. Still, most voters — Republicans, Democrats and independents — would probably agree that State of the Unions are usually long, dull laundry lists of accomplishments and proposals, preceded in the days leading up to them by great expectations, at least inside the Beltway. Ask anyone on the street six months after Barack Obama’s last SOTU or Donald Trump’s first to tell you what either said, and you’ll probably get more blank stares than recollections, good or bad.