Experts: Donald Trump 'will have to walk a fine line' during State of the Union address

Published: Jan 28, 2018, 15:39 IST | PTI

Donald Trump will have to "walk a fine line" while delivering his first State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night, according to experts who believe his speech will focus on the economy, immigration, tax reform and infrastructure

President Donald Trump will have to "walk a fine line" while delivering his first State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night, according to experts who believe his speech will focus on the economy, immigration, tax reform and infrastructure. "Trump's State of the Union address will provide him with
excellent opportunities to improve his standing with the American people," Alvin B Tillert Jr, an associate professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University, said.

donald trump

Although Trump enters the address with historically low approval ratings and a cloud of suspicion due to the Mueller investigation, he has successfully taken full control over the Republican Party in the weeks since he signed historic tax cut bill that emerged from Congress, Tillert said. "We can expect his party in Congress to be strong surrogates for him as he uses the speech to tout this achievement and the continuance of the bull stock market that began under President (Barack) Obama," he added.

According to Tillert, whose research in American politics focuses on American political development, racial and ethnic politics and media and politics, "President Trump has been all over the map on immigration in recent weeks, so we can expect that he will use the speech to finally clarify his policies". "There is no doubt that he will lead with a further promise to build his wall, then move to a more compassionate position about DACA recipients, and close with a renewed
promise to change the system along the lines of what the Cotton-Perdue proposal outlines.

"While this triangulated message will be a non-starter in terms of the actual Congressional debates, it will play well with President Trump¿s base and also give him an opportunity to appear reasonable to an electorate that is largely uninformed about immigration issues," he said. Professor Jaime Dominguez, a lecturer in the department of political science at Northwestern University, said that immigration will be a key component of Trump's speech.

"He understands the importance of bringing Democrats on board to support any piece of legislation that leads to some kind of legal protection for dreamers. At the same time, he knows such a proposition could throw the House in disarray including the conservative Freedom Caucus. He will have to walk a fine line," Dominguez said. The leaked information about the administration's infrastructure plan suggests, not surprisingly, a policy of pushing financial responsibility back to the states for projects within their boundaries, said Joseph Schofer, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and a leading academic specialist on transportation policy.

"While states can and have moved more quickly than the moribund Congress to raise taxes and tolls for infrastructure projects, transportation infrastructure works because it is a networked system, and trips and shipments do not stop at the borders," Schofer said. Fresh from his trip to Davos in Switzerland, President Trump will also talk about trade, putting the world on notice that from now on, the US will insist upon "fair" and "reciprocal" trade, reports said.

They said Trump will invoke President Ronald Reagan, citing "peace through strength" and calling for a "return to clarity" about who exactly our friends and enemies are. Aiming to unite Americans with a sense of patriotism and the American work ethic, Trump will have no shortage of successes to boast about and in true Trumpian fashion, no lack of vision for where he'd like to lead America next, they said.

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