It was a watered-down glass of Trump Lite that was served up to the country last night which is why the State of the Union address is getting some rave reviews: the president wasn’t raving.
Trump’s greatest hits weren’t in heavy rotation for the audience; there was no talk of “Fake News” or unpatriotic football players and only one mention in his 80-minute speech of “The Wall.”
But there’s more than a little irony in the fact that one of the angriest and divisive presidents we’ve had in several generations was calling for unity. It’s like a man who wandered into the middle of the woods and then is suddenly calling for a map.
Let’s be honest: This is not a rebooted presidency or a man who’s learned some valuable political lessons after a very tumultuous year. How many 71-year-old billionaires are busy turning over a new leaf?
Watching the speech is a reminder of what Trump could be: a somewhat boring commander-in-chief who sticks to bullet points and a carefully-prepared script. But a man who lives a tabloid life isn’t suddenly going to endorse a Wall Street Journal approach to the world. Last night’s speech was interesting because it was so un-Trumpian – as was his absence from Twitter in the afterglow.
But as anyone who’s ever heard the call of the political wild can tell you: a scorpion never stops stinging.