The president’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night resembled a campaign rally. Some Republicans shouted “four more years” as he approached the lectern. Democrats mostly looked glum, shook their heads, pursed their lips, laughed in response to some of his remarks and in the case of Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to be talking to herself. At the end, she tore up her copy of the address, and Trump refused to acknowledge her before stepping down from the platform.

This was more than a victory lap for the president. It was a celebration of all he and Republicans have accomplished the last three years. The latest Gallup poll reflects the public’s recognition of those achievements with 49 percent of those polled approving the president’s performance, up 10 points since November. Yes, 50 percent still disapprove of him, but based on what? It can’t be the economy, which he again touted as strong and getting stronger. According to Gallup, 63 percent approve of his economic policies.

Mr. Trump made a strong case for school choice, putting a face on “failing government schools” by introducing a young African-American girl and her mother from Pennsylvania. The governor, he said, recently vetoed an Opportunity Scholarship bill, but the president said he was offering her a scholarship so she and her mother could choose a better school.

There was the dramatic moment when the president brought back from Afghanistan Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams, who had been on his fourth tour, and reunited him with his wife, Amy, and their two children. Tears flowed.

Speaking of tears, when was the last time you saw radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh cry? He did as he received from Melania Trump the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Limbaugh announced on Monday he has advanced lung cancer. Many Democrats refused to applaud. This is what hate does to some people.

The president directly and indirectly got in digs at Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, by noting the millions he said had been removed from welfare and food stamp rolls. “Since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs,” Trump said, “taking credit for thousands of jobs created after the election but while Barack Obama was still president,” according to FactCheck.org. “The most recent figures show that in the 35 months after Trump actually took office, the economy added just under 6.7 million jobs.”

In another of his many pro-life statements, the president introduced a woman and her 2-year-old child. “In 2017,” he said, “doctors at St. Luke’s hospital in Kansas City delivered one of the earliest premature babies ever to survive. Born at just 21 weeks and six days, and weighing less than a pound, Ellie Schneider was born a fighter. Through the skill of her doctors — and the prayers of her parents — little Ellie kept on winning the battle for life. Today, Ellie is a strong, healthy 2-year-old girl sitting with her amazing mother, Robin, in the gallery.” He then pivoted and called on Congress to pass legislation finally banning “the late-term abortion of babies.”

One wishes he had said something about eliminating outdated and unworkable government programs. Instead, he proposed even more programs, adding to our $23 trillion (and growing) national debt. He apparently still thinks growth will solve the problem, but not if he and Congress keep spending.

This was more than a State of the Union address. It was a campaign kickoff. According to Gallup, Trump received “a 10 percent approval rating among blacks in 2017, 11 percent in 2018 and 10 percent in December 2019.” Emerson Polling and Rasmussen Reports put that number at 34 percent, which, depending on which poll you believe, might suggest the president’s appeal is growing in the African-American community. Maybe the administration’s criminal justice reform legislation and the call for expansion of school choice legislation are responsible for the rise?

Following his acquittal by the Senate on two articles of impeachment, the president clearly has the wind at his back. With issues going his way and with the Democratic Party in disarray (the broken vote-counting app in the Iowa caucuses was an appropriate symbol of their dysfunction), the president is poised for four more years.

Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.

Copyright 2020 Tribune Content Agency.

(29) comments

Comment deleted.
DickD

You were an exception?

phydeaux994

Germany, 1930’s. NEVER AGAIN??? The worse he gets, the higher his popularity!!! What is happening to America????? And they can’t even explain why they support him. They don’t even TRY to defend him. They say they were FORCED to support him. Because of the RADICAL DEMOCRATS!!! The Radical Democrats, who dared to oppose the separation of children from their Parents, who opposed the blatant racism and hate spewed at nearly 400 Trump Rallies, the vile names and lies and threats against ANYONE who hurt the feelings that lurk under his thin skin. Well, I’m sitting here listening to DJ Trump whine and feel sorry for himself, trying to humiliate Mitt Romney, cursing, now lying about the things the “VICIOUS RADICAL DEMOCRATS” are going to do and bragging about the “PERFECT PHONECALL”, on to Hunter Biden and why doesn’t Germany Pay and........!!!

prg45fan

Here phy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-diB65scQU

phydeaux994

Why do you support him prg45fan? “THE ECONOMY” MAWA. What one person in “THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD” as Don likes to say, would you COMPARE DJ Trump to?

Comment deleted.
DickD

Queen Petty Pelosi for POTUS!

DickD

Trump doesn't have anything to celebrate - unless he wants to celebrate Senators more concerned with getting elected again. Trump's time as POTUS is limited to one term.

Comment deleted.
DickD

Yes and with Trump it has been a nightmare.

Dwasserba

"Many Democrats refused to applaud. This is what hate does to some people." "Hate" is overstating. What if a lefty Pres gave this to Rachel Maddow? Sorry he has lung cancer. They should all get a medal.

aust42

The Democrats have no viable candidate to offer. They need a Moderate candidate whose campaign should stress what their going to do for the American people, not constant hate filled propaganda against President Trump. The fact Sanders is a Socialist and won the Iowa caucus shows how far left the Democrats have swung.

DickD

You believe the entire U.S. is the same as Iowa? I doubt it.

enufalready

His acquittal leaves him more emboldened than ever. He will eventually commit a crime that even the Senate (aka "The Cult") can't overlook. He will be his own demise.

Alice Jones

He’s not that smart.

des21

He doesn't need to do anything. The HOR have got about a baker's doze of "impeachable offenses" in the hopper. Remember, since day one the goal has been to "impeach the mother- you know whater". Whatever you do, just don't focus on their presidential candidates!

Dwasserba

Yes. Offenses are blatant, overlooked and defended. The sky is not falling because there is no ceiling and the air is so thin, everyone is high. It's going to be a new ride in Disney World when it's over.

DickD

Dave, you know Trump will do something. It might not be to your liking either.

phydeaux994

Hey des, I’ll remind you again. After Trump won the first few Republican Primaries in 2016 against the 16 or so candidates and I said “well there’s your Nominee for POTUS” you jumped all over me, saying “he’s just a flash in the pan, he’ll be gone in a couple weeks” echoing the candidates who hated him “he’s trying to buy the Presidency” they all said. And yesterday many of those guys i.e. Graham and Cruz, voted to let him “do anything he wants to do” and be a Feared Strong Man like Putin, Kim Jong Un, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Satan, Xi, Erdogan, and he vowed to make the “VICIOUS THEM” pay for their transgressions, in his 1+ hour POUT in front of his loudly cheering 🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑 etc. Peace.

des21

I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings phy. I was wrong- as I was in thinking that the only 3 of the 17 Republicans who could not beat Hilary were Carson, Cruz and Trump. Oh well, I've moved on, you might want to try it.

des21

What I wrote about the President gaining a larger share of the Black vote 6 weeks ago appears to have been prescient. Makes sense but that's always nice.[beam]

Alice Jones

Wow! Why not apply to a job in that sham administration? They could certainly use a master of poll predictions.

des21

Hmmm, don't think I haven't considered it. I'd last about 3 days no doubt!

Alice Jones

Lol. Good answer, des.

pretzel

KAG, 4 more years and beyond is a huge win for the us, well for those of us who love the U.S.A.

Alice Jones

A huge win for Putin, too. Too funny how the drumpfers pick up on any nonsensical ramblings and make them their mantra. Sad.

Dwasserba

Yes. Interfere in our elections, we're tired of thinking and self-governing.

Alice Jones

Thinking and self governing? Ahahahaahha. Funny guy. Putin pulls the dumps tiny handed meat puppets strings.

Russian

Trump will be re-elected if he can just maintain 45% approval rating so buckle up comrades.

des21

He's at 49% according to Gallup! But you are right, the average is 45% and that should be enough given where they are located.

Jleftwich

Heh. Basically all he needs to to maintain a D average, and it will resonate. ‘murica!

des21

You smart guys crack me up. I wish I was as smart as you left.

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