State of the Union 2019 Preview
- Immigration: Of all the issues that will be brought up tonight, this is the one that's likely to get the most attention. The key question here is whether or not the president can make a case this time that will move public opinion. From the midterm elections to his recent Oval Office address to the nation, the president has essentially been making the same case for a border barrier for quite some time. However, public sentiment on the issue hasn't moved in his direction. Is there a way he can frame the issue tonight that will change that or will the debate be in the same place tomorrow that it's in today? There will also be a lot of focus on the possibility of a national emergency declaration. That's unlikely to happen tonight, but we'll likely hear the president make a case for it in the event negotiations with Congress fail over the course of the next week and a half.
- Health Care: Look for the president to tout his dismantling of certain aspects of Obamacare while also laying out some areas of agreement with Democrats on prescription drug prices. What you likely won't hear about is any kind of major health care reform initiative like the president rolled out in his first year in office. Drug pricing is the issue where there's some bipartisan agreement and momentum within Congress. It's also something the president has talked about since his campaign.
- The Economy: It's pretty much guaranteed that President Trump will spend some time promoting current economic data that details the strength of the economy. You'll also likely hear pushback against concerns of a looming recession. Finally, look for the president to sell the country on his work on trade. From the new NAFTA deal to current negotiations with China, President Trump will look to laud his deal-making skills while assuaging concerns about the impact tariffs are having on businesses across the country.
- Infrastructure: Improving America's infrastructure was a main promise of Trump's 2016 campaign and it's a problem many thought could be tackled in a bipartisan fashion. Instead of leading with infrastructure, the president chose to take on health care at the start of his term and he's been unable to gain any traction on the issue since taking office. Is there a deal to be made with a Democratic House? It's a good bet that you'll see the president touch on this possibility tonight.
- Judicial Appointments: One of, if not the most consequential facets of the Trump presidency has been the remaking of the judicial branch with conservative appointments. Watch for the president to promote this part of his record while pushing Democrats to end the delay of some of his nominations.