During the government "shutdown", Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) revoked the invitation to President Trump to give his State of the Union address in the House chamber, citing bogus security concerns. It was a purely political and petty ploy, which Trump responded to by canceling her trip (along with House colleagues) to the Middle East.
Now with the government open again, it's game on. And SOTU will occur just one week late, on Tuesday, February 5th.
Here are a few things Trump should say:
The state of the union is strong, and if you look at objective measures it's stronger than in many years, and stronger than Democrats or CNN will admit. But you, Mr. and Mrs. John Q Public, know the truth. You know that you've gotten a new job, or a better job, or a raise. You know that your 401(k) is worth much more than when Barack Obama was president.
You know how rare it is for a politician to truly fight for the people every day. I am.
You know that you cannot name a single president in recent memory who's made it his mission to fulfill his campaign promises. I am.
You know that every president for a generation should have dealt with China's unfair trading practices. But they didn't. I am.
You know that every president for a generation should have substantially improved our border security, especially after Ronald Reagan granted amnesty based on a promise, broken by Democrats, to do just that. But they didn't. I am.
You know that I passed the most important tax reform since at least Reagan, and probably since Kennedy, and in your heart you know that it's the right thing to do...that leaving you to spend more of your own money in ways that benefit you and your family and your community is better than sending it to Washington DC for politicians to play their games with. Most politicians don't actually trust you with your own money. I do.
For the first time in years, our military readiness is improving. With the threats and challenges posed by China and Russia and Iran and others, I consider this my single most important task as president. I realize I'm referring to President Reagan a lot this evening, but one last time: Recent presidents did not heed his call for "peace through strength." I am.
No president in my memory has insisted on our NATO allies -- and they are very important allies -- actually covering a reasonable share of the cost of their own defense. I am. And now they are.
The recent unfortunate government shutdown occurred because I care so much about keeping my promises and keeping you safe. I will endeavor to prevent another shutdown but much will depend on whether the Democrats were serious when they said they would engage in honest negotiation once the government was open. I know some people disagreed with my giving them the chance to prove once and for all whether they can be trusted, and whether they care more about politics or your safety. But in an effort to unite the country, I thought it was worth a try. Now we'll see what they're really all about. I'm prepared to be disappointed but will approach the negotiations with cautious optimism that all sides can walk away happy. Or, as someone once said, the best compromises are those in which all parties end up slightly unhappy. I'll take that too, as long as the result increases the security of our southern border, including adding physical barriers where the experts say that is the most effective way to achieve that goal.
For the next year, I intend to attempt to honor another campaign pledge: to bring as many members of our military home from war deployment as possible, consistent with maintaining our security interests. We have been at war for too long...for the longest continuous period in American history. Think about that. Only our enemies want it to continue this way and I'm determined to change things.
And when our brave fighting men and women come home, I'm also determined to make sure that the Veterans Administration gives them the care they've earned, the care that a grateful nation expects them to receive. We've made giant strides toward this goal, but there's more to do.
On these and so many other issues, I renew my pledge to you to fight for you and for our great nation each and every day. I know State of the Union speeches are normally longer than this, but there's a lot to do so I'm getting back to work.
God bless each of you and God bless the United States of America.