President Donald Trump kicked off a State of the Union address delayed by an unprecedented government shutdown by championing policies that “the Democrats would have no choice but to applaud,” said Nicholas Beauchamp, an assistant professor of political science at Northeastern University.
The president, faced with a standoff over border security and with a deadline for a second partial government shutdown, told members of the 116th Congress Tuesday that “The state of the Union is strong.”
Trump bookended his pitch for a wall at the country’s southern border—a centerpiece of his domestic agenda—with conciliatory language that could be a signal for those searching for it that he’s “pivoting to something more centrist,” Beauchamp said.
The address revealed “a president who might do better if he adopted a more conciliatory tone, and he’s showing that he can,” Beauchamp said. “Whether he will is what we’ll have to wait and see.”