Saturday, December 7, 2019

Reporters Stunned by State of the Union's Appeal to Both Sides

Several veteran White House reporters noted — to their surprise — that President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday evening won applause from Democrats as well as Republicans.

John Roberts, the chief White House correspondent for Fox News, who is often skeptical of the president, was stunned at the reaction Trump evoked from Democrats despite the confrontational mood in Washington:

Well, THAT was an interesting series of moments.

— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) February 6, 2019

.@SpeakerPelosi politely claps as @realDonaldTrump proclaims “America will NEVER be a socialist country.

— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) February 6, 2019

There were clearly differences of opinion on some issues, but I have not seen a SOTU in recent years when the opposition applauded to the degree it did tonight.

— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) February 6, 2019

Well, I can honestly say I have never heard “Happy Birthday” sung at a State Of The Union….

— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) February 6, 2019

>@realDonaldTrump was wise to accept the postponement and give the SOTU in Congress.

— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) February 6, 2019

Jonathan Karl, chief White House correspondent for ABC News, remarked on lines pitched to the nation as a whole, and moments of bipartisan applause:

“Victory is not winning for our party, victory is winning for our country.” @realdonaldtrump

— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) February 6, 2019

Biggest applause line of the speech: “We also have more women serving in Congress than ever before.” #StateOfTheUnion2019

— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) February 6, 2019

The president and his speechwriters have accomplished something remarkable here tonight — striking several themes that have drawn applause from both sides of the chamber. That is not unusual for a state of the union, but it is unusual for this President. #SOTU

— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) February 6, 2019

Trump even managed to win a series of standing ovations from Democrat women wearing white in protest.

Though arguably he gave little ground on policy, Trump honored national heroes, and pitched his speech to national themes and priorities shared in common by most Americans — including the opposition.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Joel B. Pollak

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