President Trump stuck to the script for the most part on Tuesday night as he delivered his first State of the Union address.
The President spoke of his recent tax plan success, the economy, his new plan for immigration, national security, and the need for bipartisanship when it comes to infrastructure.
“Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.”
The President spoke for about 80 minutes, and received multiple standing ovations from Republicans. But not all of the ovations were reserved for President Trump.
Republican Whip Steve Scalise rose triumphantly from his seat as the President called out his name. The representative was seriously injured after shooter James Hodgkinson opened fire on a congressional baseball practice back in June. After weeks in the ICU and rehabilitation, Scalise has learned how to walk again, and still uses canes for support.
Another standing ovation was given to the parents of Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas, two young girls from Long Island who were killed by the MS-13 gang back in 2016.
But at times, the silence within the chamber was more noticeable than the applause.
Democrats remained in their seats during the President’s speech – but gave audible boos when the speech turned to immigration. Many of the Democratic women wore black in solidarity with the Me Too movement, and some donned pins with the name “Recy” on them. Recy Taylor was a young African American woman who was sexually assaulted by six white men back in 1944, and has become an icon for the movement to shed light on the horrors of sexual harassment and assault.
One powerful moment from the Democratic response came when Represenative Joe Kennedy III, spoke directly to the Dreamers who may have been watching.
“Let me be absolutely clear,” he said, “Ustedes son parte de nuestra historia. Vamos a luchar por ustedes y no nos vamos alejar.” (In English: You are part of our story. We will fight for you and we will not walk away.)
While mixed reactions from lawmakers have been floating around social media over the last 24 hours, the true success of President Trump’s first State of the Union will be measured in time, as he hopes to pass immigration reform, infrastructure legislation, and other big ticketed policy that he campaigned on in the upcoming year.