In the chatty aftermath of Trump’s stale State of the Union address, Katherine Krueger of Jezebel described the event best, as “a speech awash in horrific oversimplifications.” Krueger rightly was disturbed by the story Trump exploited about the New Mexico cop and his wife adopting the baby of a homeless woman addicted to heroin. The super white couple received applause, the wife displaying the baby they “saved” and nobody gives a damn about the infant’s biological mom, Crystal Champ, who is still a homeless addict.
But Chris Matthews of MSNBC called Trump’s speech “brilliant.” Because Trump read the prompter adequately, flubbing only a few times by saying “bounds” instead of boundaries and “Opamacare” when tooting his bent horn on the evil repeal, to which Ben Carson applauded. What was brilliant, Chris? The singsong fashion with which this cretin recited statements approved by John Kelly? It was boring and flat, and Trump sounded tired, like he wished he were in bed with his cheeseburgers.
On CNN, President Teleprompter’s most hated cable news enemy, the panel mostly derided his lackluster performance and the hollow messages. It was noted he was actually booed about his wish to protect the nuclear family by ending chain migration. As Trump took credit for the “improved” economy and sunny jobs outlook, David Axelrod likened it to the “rooster taking credit for the dawn,” which is exactly what Trump does all the time and should be his new slogan instead of MAGA. Nia-Malika Henderson felt The Don was low-key, tired, and bored, and was irked he gave “short shrift” to the opioid epidemic—in the speech he blamed dealers instead of the Big Pharma dealers like the Sackler Family. Stiff collar John King found Trump “effective using his guests” but was bad in communicating to anyone left or right. Van Jones said he is “selling sweet-tasting candy with poison in it.” Jones proceeded to fight with Rick Santorum, who threw his notes on the ground in a fitful gesture, really earning his appearance fee. Santorum was livid that Trump gave a hint of being conciliatory about immigration.
Jake Tapper and Wolf Blitzer cut away from the panel drama for the Democrat response delivered by Representative Joe Kennedy III in Fall River, Massachusetts (where Lizzie Borden took an ax…). The 36-year-old was in shirt sleeves and tie, triggering memories of his grandfather and great uncle with his curly ginger hair. He spoke with passion and inclusion, and said, “Russia is knee-deep in our democracy,” and addressed Dreamers in Spanish.
Since Kennedy is far more telegenic than Tangerine Turd, the pundits fawned over his appearance but pointed out the young representative’s substance and spirit.
In general, the press are disappointed (?) that during the speech Trump didn’t act like the crass, embarrassing, off-the-handle tweeter we have become accustomed to this past year. Not to worry, Chuck Todd, there’s enough scandal and a guarantee of future tweets to make up for this short lull.
Early reaction to the speech was decidedly mixed. A CNN “Instant Poll” gave Trump the least positive reaction in at least 20 years – since the inception of the poll.
The New York Times fact-checked the speech and found several outright falsehoods and instances where Trump took credit for his predecessors successes.