Welcome! Login | Register
 

Worcester Couple Arrested for Possession of Cocaine—Worcester Couple Arrested for Possession of Cocaine

Clark Awards 1,052 Degrees During 114th Commencement Ceremony—Clark Awards 1,052 Degrees During 114th Commencement Ceremony

Construction in Worcester - Week of May 21—Construction in Worcester - Week of May 21

Smart Benefits: HSA Limits for 2019 Released—Smart Benefits: HSA Limits for 2019 Released

Volvo Ocean Race Boats Begin Leg 9 to Cardiff, Wales—Volvo Ocean Race Boats Begin Leg 9 to…

The Policy of Speak Softly May be Dead—Sunday Political Brunch—May 20, 2018—The Policy of Speak Softly May be Dead…

25 Things to Look Forward to in New England This Summer—25 Things to Look Forward to in New…

Monfredo: Worcester Public Schools Continue to Address Bullying—Monfredo: Worcester Public Schools Continue to Address Bullying

Celtics Fall to Cleveland 116-86 in Game 3—Celtics Fall to Cleveland 116-86 in Game 3

Worcester Police to Honor Memory of 9 Officers During Annual Memorial Ceremony—Worcester Police to Honor Memory of 9 Officers…

 
 

Horowitz: State of the Union Provides Trump With an Opportunity to Reset

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

 

Rob Horowitz

Generally speaking, State of the Union Addresses do very little to move presidents’ approval ratings up or down and only marginally influence public opinion on which issues are most salient. In today’s media climate, this is likely more the case than ever.  As Professor Julian Zelizer recently wrote in a CNN commentary, “…the truth is that the State of the Union address doesn't really matter that much anymore. It is not the kind of galvanizing national event that it once was. The speech is not what it used to be, and neither is the audience.”

While it is important to heed those well-taken cautions when gauging the impact of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address, which he will deliver tonight, the speech still provides an opportunity to build on some small upward momentum and begin to alter the perception of most voters that he is a failed, divisive and dysfunctional president.

The continued good economic news, combined with the successful adoption of tax cut legislation, which is becoming more popular, has given Trump a bit of a boost in his approval ratings.  The economy is one area where right or wrong most voters give Trump some credit. This provides a launching point for a reset-where he actually attempts to communicate and govern in a way designed to reach and benefit all the people-not just his relatively small base.

Two upcoming issues, which if press reports are accurate will be highlighted in tonight’s speech, give him an opportunity to reach out to the broad middle of the electorate—if he so chooses.  On immigration, if he is willing to embrace a more limited deal that includes just legalization for the dreamers and funding for the border wall, there is a potential win—one that will be supported by the overwhelming majority of voters.    Insisting on the restrictions on legal immigration outlined in his current proposal will likely make reaching agreement any time soon—if ever—impossible. Similarly, investing in upgrading our aging infrastructure is a broadly popular issue that has the added political advantage of generating new relatively high paying jobs for people without a college education.

President Trump has the opportunity to frame his second year of office around these kinds of issues that appeal more broadly as he continues to tout the strength of the American economy. For this change of approach to be truly effective, however, will require a change in his tone and behavior.  In other words, no matter how optimistic or unifying the speech is tonight, if the president reverts to his usual divisive rhetoric and un-presidential behavior any positive reviews will have a very limited impact and almost no shelf life.

But despite the train wreck that best describes the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump still has the opportunity for a reset and redefinition. I am not optimistic that this will occur, but the opportunity is still there.  Tonight could be the beginning of something new and better.  As an American, I am willing to suspend disbelief and put my wishes ahead of my better judgment.

Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island.

 

Related Slideshow: Trump in Worcester

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump fans like this young supporter made signs of their own to show their support for the Donald. They could be seen dotting the line waiting to enter the DCU Center.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

For Trump fans that left their gear at home, there was nothing to fear. Vendors took advantage of the passionate crowd, lining up near the entrances and selling buttons, hats and t-shirts like this one.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Star-spangled gear could be seen often outside and inside of the DCU Center. This Trump supporter really worse his love for the Donald on his sleeve.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

It wasn't all good cheer for Donald Trump. Protestors lined the streets near the entrance of the DCU Center, and could be hear chanting various anti-Trump sentiments.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

This young man's pants left no doubt. He is a big fan of two things—Donald Trump, and the United States of America.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

These four Trump fans wore their support proudly on their chest, and they weren't the only ones. Many fans could be seen sporting Trump hats, shirts, buttons and more as they filed into the DCU Center.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

These two said they were proud to support Donald Trump in his bid for the Presidency.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

You could call this protestor a "one-issue voter." He mixed calls for the return of his favorite discontinued soft drink in with chants criticizing Trump's immigration stance.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

For these Trump fans, it was a family affair. The whole bunch turned out to support their favorite candidate.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

The cold weather didn't bother this Trump fan. He said he decided to purchase a Donald Trump-branded jacket or sweatshirt inside the DCU Center.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

These two Trump fans were "red"-y to see their hero in action!

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

These clever protestors turned Donald Trump's famous catchphrase around on him. 

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

There were plenty of young fans on hand for Donald Trump's speech in Worcester. These two made their feelings on Trump, and his immigration stance, very clear.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump had the chance to see him name up in lights on the DCU Center jumbo-screen. It must have been quite the thrill!

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Donald Trump made his entrance at roughly 7:30 PM to nearly deafening applause. He paused for a moment to soak it all in.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump walked confidently to the podium after being introduced as the large crowd cheer and chanted his name.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump fans inside were loud, and cheered the Donald often. They also made sure to snap their own photos of their favorite candidate while they had the chance.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump fans in Massachusetts came from near and far to get a glimpse of Donald Trump live and in person.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Standing room only—the DCU Center was nearly filled with supporters who got on their feet early and stayed there for most of Trump's hour-long speech.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Even inside the DCU Center, Trump could not escape the protestors. These unhappy attendees attracted a lot of attention, but were whisked out of the arena by security after only a few seconds.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump said time and time again to the crowd gathered in Worcester that he would "make America great again" through smart immigration and trade policies.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump said he was glad to be in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and pleased fans by talking about the greatness of hometown hero Tom Brady.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump was all smiles when one of his jokes drew big laughs from the crowd of supporters.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

Trump supporters chanted his famous slogan, "make America great again," before, during and after his speech at the DCU Center.

Prev Next

Donald Trump at the DCU Center

When Donald Trump finally finished his speech, he drew the loudest applause of the night. Fans waved signs, chanted his name and tried desperately to snap one last photo of their departing hero.

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 
Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox