Podcasts: Trump and the Real State of the Union

Melania Trump during a standing ovation by Republicans for her husband Donald during the State of the Union address, January 30, 2018

There has been a lot of mainstream fluff and misdirection over Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, with mesmerized and inaccurate headlines speaking of “bipartisanship” and “consensus”.

I joined Phil Upton of BBC Coventry and Julia Hartley-Brewer of talkRADIO to cut through the spectacle and illusion of an on-script Trump to bring out the key points of substance, with a view to what happens next.

Listen to BBC Coventry

Because he stuck to the script, a lot of US media headlined “He Appealed for Bipartisanship” because they got suckered in by the rhetoric. But once get you beyond that and into the substance, there’s some real hardline stuff.

Listen to talkRADIO from 6:17 in 0630-0700 Segment

See also A Snap Response to Trump’s State of the Union Performance

Trump’s style: “He read a teleprompter successfully. He didn’t fall over, and his head didn’t blow up. So that’s a win.”

On the “bipartisan”: “It wasn’t. This was Trump playing to his base, to the Republicans in Congress, trying to claim credit for the economic growth of all of the past nine years and hooklines like ‘Make America Great Again’.”

On policy: “There were only two initiatives. The $1.5 trillion infrastructure proposal, which is kinda magical given that the Administration hasn’t even passed a budget yet, and a ‘compromise’ on immigration which is actually an ultimatum.”

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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