President Donald Trump, a uniter?
That’s the approach advisers say Trump will take in his first State of the Union address delivered under divided government. A president who’s mocked everyone from women to the U.S. intelligence community, foreign leaders and members of Congress is expected to speak Tuesday night of setting aside hard feelings and moving forward.
For an idea of how that goes over, keep an eye on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, seated behind him and over his shoulder, and the record number of women and minorities who dot the audience after the November 2018 elections. And listen for how enthusiastically Republicans applaud Trump’s outreach.
ABRAMS AFTER WORDS
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer chose Abrams to deliver the rebuttal in a nod toward the black women who anchor the Democratic Party. Doing so elevates her among Democrats as the leaders woo Abrams to run for the Senate.
Abrams also will provide a contrast with Trump, who has a history of making racially inflammatory remarks.
Abrams is filling a role that for others has proven thankless and generated brutal reviews. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s lunge for a water bottle became a meme after he delivered his party’s response in 2013. Then-Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, was panned for being dull in 2009.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” said he twice turned down offers to deliver the rebuttal.
Why? “Because it sucks,” he said.