2018 State of the Union Address

2018 State of the Union Address

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Added Jan 30, 2018 at 04:47PM EST by Matt.

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Overview

The 2018 State of the Union was an address made by United States President Donald Trump on the progress and current condition of the United States' economy, government and citizenry. The address was held on January 30th, 2018 in the House of Representatives before the 115th congress.

Background

The State of the Union, a long-running American political tradition, is mandated by Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which requires the President to periodically inform the Congress on the “state of the union” and discuss other measures that are deemed to be “necessary and expedient” national priorities.

"He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."

As custom, the President has the speak of the house and vice president presiding behind him during the address. Therefore, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence sat directly behind the president.

Development

Boycotts

According to Politico,[7] the following representatives will not be attending the speech in protest of the president's policies. They write:

"Several House Democrats announced they would not attend, including Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Jan Schakowsky, (D-Ill.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.). Reps. Jayapal, Lewis, Waters, and Wilson decided to skip it after Trump’s incendiary comments on Haiti and other African countries. Blumenauer will instead send a DACA recipient, a so-called Dreamer, in his place to 'remind Trump that these are real people with families and jobs, who are vital to our communities.' Schakowsky, who is also boycotting because of president’s comments, said in a statement, 'The American people have been subjected to a year of racist, erratic, and divisive behavior from their Commander in Chief, and I refuse to accept that as the new normal.'

Bill Nye's Attendance

On January 18th, 2018, Congressman Jim Bridenstein, a nominee for NASA Administrator, announced that television host and science advocate Bill Nye to the State of the Union. In statement[6] he said:

"Bill Nye has been inspiring countless young people to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math since before we used STEM as an acronym. Our country needs these disciplines now more than ever. It is an honor to have ‘The Science Guy’ as my guest at the State of the Union Address."

Nye responded:

"I’m very pleased to join Congressman Bridenstine at the President’s first State of the Union Address. As CEO of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest independent space interest and advocacy organization, I have enjoyed a productive working relationship with Congressman Bridenstine on space issues.

“The Congressman is the nominee to be the next Administrator of NASA, and as I often say, NASA is the best brand the United States has. This means that the NASA Administrator not only works to advance space exploration, but serves as an informal ambassador of U.S. capability and optimism to the world.

“At the State of the Union address, I hope to hear the President present plans for an ambitious, science-driven space exploration agenda. Space exploration brings out the best in us. It brings the nation together as we solve problems that have never been solved before and learn more about the cosmos and our place within it.”

On January 29th, Nye tweeted,[3] "Tomorrow night I will attend the State of the Union as a guest of Congressman Jim Bridenstine – nominee for NASA Administrator – who extended me an invitation in my role as CEO of The Planetary Society…." The post (shown below) received more than 200 retweets and 2,900 likes in 24 hours.


Bill Nye @BillNye Tomorrow night I will attend the State of the Union as a guest of Congressman Jim Bridenstine - nominee for NASA Administrator who extended me an invitation in my role as CEO of The Planetary Society.

The following day, a petition to convince Nye to not attend was posted online, garnering more than 36,000 signatures in 24 hours. The site explains:

"President Donald Trump is a bigoted climate denier. So is Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Trump's embattled nominee for NASA Administrator. So why is Bill Nye "very pleased" to be Bridenstine's guest at Trump's first State of the Union address?

"Bill, please be the Science Guy, not the Bigoted Climate Denial Guy. Cancel your plans to attend Trump's State of the Union as Rep. Bridenstine's guest."

On January 30th, Scientific American published an article signed by 500 Women Scientists entitled "Bill Nye Does Not Speak for Us and He Does Not Speak for Science." In the article, they write:

"But by attending the SOTU as Rep. Bridenstine’s guest, Nye has tacitly endorsed those very policies, and put his own personal brand over the interests of the scientific community at large. Rep. Bridenstine is a controversial nominee who refuses to state that climate change is driven by human activity, and even introduced legislation to remove Earth sciences from NASA’s scientific mission. Further, he’s worked to undermine civil rights, including pushing for crackdowns on immigrants, a ban on gay marriage, and abolishing the Department of Education."

State of the Uniom

On January 29th, 2018, Twitter[10] user @lbarronlopez posted a picture of the ticket for the State of the Union with an arrow pointing to a typo that reads "State of the Uniom" drawn on the photograph. They captioned the photograph "Republicans may have to recall all State of the Union tickets because they say 'Uniom' not 'Union,' per two Dem aides." The post (shown below) received more than 5,300 retweets and 11,000 likes in two days.


Republicans may have to recall all State of the Union tickets because they say "Uniom" not "Union," per two Dem aides. tlh ADMIT BEARER TO THE VISITOR'S GALLERY 15 Congress Gallery 7 Row D Seat 7 Address to the Congress on the State of the Union President Donald J. Trump

Representative Paul Gosar Immigration Remarks Controversy

On January 30th, 2018, Arizona state representative tweeted in a series of two tweets,[11] "Today, Congressman Paul Gosar contacted the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking they consider checking identification of all attending the State of the Union address and arresting any illegal aliens in attendance. Additionally, Congressman Gosar asked that they arrest those using fraudulent social security numbers and identification to pass through security." The post (shown below) received more than 17,000 retweets and 30,000 likes, collectively.


Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS@RepGosar 21h Today, Congressman Paul Gosar contacted the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking they consider checking identification of all attending the State of the Union address and arresting any illegal aliens in attendance. 9.6K ti 14K 24K Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS @RepGosar Additionally, Congressman Gosar asked that they arrest those using fraudulent social security numbers and identification to pass through security

Following the tweet, Arizona state Senator Jeff Flake tweeted,[12] "This is why we can’t have nice things…" The tweet (shown below, left) received more than 5,500 retweets and 20,700 likes in 24 hours. Gosar responded on Twitter,[13] saying "This is why you got forced out of office." The post (shown below, right) received more than 4,500 retweets and 12,100 likes in 24 hours.


Jeff Flake @JeffFlake This is why we can't have nice things... Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS @RepGosar Today, Congressman Paul Gosar contacted the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking they consider checking identification of all attending the State of the Union address and arresting any illegal aliens in attendance Show this thread Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS @RepGosar This is why you got forced out of office. Jeff Flake @JeffFlake This is why we can't have nice things... twitter.com/repgosar/statu...

The President's Address

At 9pm on January 30th, President Trump delivered his State of the Union, which he described as "strong." The speech, which focused primarily on the administration's perceived economic victories over the course of 2017, immigration policy, and foreign policy, was told through stories of various American citizens rather than straight policy. In his speech, the president called for unity in America (shown below).[8]



However, many news and fact-checking agencies pointed out that much of what the president said were his victories were due to the inheritance of the economy led by Barack Obama. For example, his claim that unemployment amongst African Americans has "reached the lowest levels in history." Politifact[9] wrote of this:

"The black unemployment rate is indeed at record lows, and the Hispanic unemployment rate reached the lowest levels in history during Trump’s tenure.

"That’s a continuation of an earlier trend. Under former President Barack Obama, the unemployment rate for both groups fell by more than half.

"However, economists are skeptical about the ability of presidents to take either credit or blame for conditions on their watch, because many other factors play into economic results."

Rebuttals

Massachusettes state representative Joe Kennedy, III and Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman offered rebuttals to the state of the union for the democratic party.[1] Kennedy presented his in English (video below, left), Guzman in Spanish. In addition, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will also offer a rebuttal following the broadcast (video below, right).[2]



During Kennedy's rebuttal, people online commented on liquid seen on the sides of the speaker's mouth. Twitter[37] user @EoinHiggins_ tweeted pictures of Kennedy's mouth with the caption "wtf man." The post (shown below, left) received more than 20 retweets and 80 likes in two days.

Twitter[38] user @KateAranoff joked about the makeup company Glossier becoming Kennedy's brand ambassador. She wrote, "congrats to @glossier on landing joe kennedy as a brand ambassador." The tweet (shown below, center) received 100 retweets and 600 likes in two days.

Twitter[39] user @FrankLutz compared the moment to Marco Rubio's State of the Union rebuttal in which the senator took numerous sips of water. he wrote, "Marco Rubio had dry-mouth during his #SOTU response in 2013. Joe Kennedy has drool-mouth." The tweet (shown below, right) received more than 960 retweets and 2,400 likes in two days.


The FBI is bad, actually. @EoinHiggins-. Jan 30 Joe Kennedy has some weird ass s--- on the sides of his mouth . 16 t17 175 The FBI is bad, actually @EoinHiggins w-- man congrats to @glossier on landing joe kennedy as a brand ambassador Marco Rubio had dry-mouth during his #SOTU-response in 2013. Joe Kennedy has drool-mouth. LIVE 7:50 pm PT 1 飞 STATE UNION REP. JOE KENNEDY D-Massachusetts, 4th District CSPAN Brookline, Newton, Taunton C-span.org @cspan

Bernie Sanders Clap

During the speech, as the president discussed pulling the American people out of poverty, Senator Bernie Sanders could be seen clapping with a sidelong look of disapproval on his face (video below). As he clapped, his face became more expressionless.



Following the moment, people on Twitter began sharing gifs of the moment, discussing his reaction to Trump's speech, as well as describing his clap in humorous terms. Twitter[14] user @DPsocialism tweeted the gif with the caption "Bernie clapping like Slytherin just won the house cup." The post (shown below, left) received more than 900 retweets and 2,700 likes in 24 hours. Twitter[15] user @DaniellaMicaela tweeted, "Sen. Bernie Sanders is me thinking about all the things I need to do tomorrow. #SOTU." The tweet (shown below, center) received more than 700 retweets and 2,200 likes in 24 hours. Twitter[16] user @NutmegRadio tweeted the gif with the caption "Bernie clapping like he just learned his ex-girlfriend is really happy now." The post (shown below, right) received more than 260 retweets and 700 likes in 24 hours.

That day, Twitter[17] published a Moments page on the popularity of the clap.


Bernie clapping like Slytherin just won the house cup House Chamber 9:46 PM ET LIVE GINN THE STATE OF THE UNION freegifmaker.me Sen. Bernie Sanders is me thinking about all the things I need to do tomorrow. #SOTU House Chamber 9:46 PM ET 46 PMET GIFON THE STATE OF THE UNION #SOTU Bernie clapping like he just learned his ex- girlfriend is really happy now House Chamber 9:46 PM ET CNN 9:46 PMET GIF NN THE STATE OF THE UNION #SOTU

Online Response

The State of the Union was a topic of much discussion online. On Reddit, the event reached the frontpage of several subreddits. On /r/The_Donald, [18] the topic received more than 12,000 points (88% upvoted) and 19,000 comments in 24 hours. On the /r/politics subreddit, Redditor[19] narbz posted "Donald Trump booed in his first State of the Union after hitting out at 'chain migration.'" The post received more than 13,000 points (84% upvoted) and 1,700 comments in 24 hours. Other threads in /r/politics received more than 2,000 points each.[20][21]

Twitter published numerous Moments pages regarding discussion of the speech.[22][23][24][25][26]

Media Coverage

Virtually all major news outlets covered the State of the Union, including The New York Times,[27] Vox,[28] CNN,[29] The Hill[30] and more.

Ratings Controversy

On February 1st, 2018, President Trump tweeted[31] that 45.6 million people had watched the State of the Union and made the false[32] claim that it was "highest number in history" in terms of viewership. He wrote, "Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. @FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart!" The post (shown below) received more than 15,000 retweets and 74,000 likes in 12 hours.


Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. @FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart!

In comparison to past State of the Union ratings, Trump's first speech was behind several others. President Barack Obama's in 2010 had more than 48 million on 11 television outlets in 2010, President George W. Bush's first State of the Union following 9/11 on eight outlets in 2002; and 45.8 watched President Bill Clinton's first SOTU on four outlets in 1994.[33]

Many online contested Trump's tweet, pointing to a report from Nielsen Ratings[35] to correct his claims. Twitter user @WakeUp2Politics tweeted,[34] "This is not 'the highest number in history.' Per @Nielsen, it is less than Bush '03 (62M), Clinton '98 (53M), Bush '02 (51.7M), Obama '10 (48M), and Clinton '94 (45.8M)." The tweet (shown below, left) received more than 200 retweets and 300 likes in 12 hours.

CNN's Jake Tapper tweeted,[36] "Fewer viewers than the first SOTU’s for Obama in 2010, Bush in 2002, Clinton in 1994. 'Which means Trump’s initial SOTU, the third longest in history, is now also the least watched address in nearly a quarter of a century.'" The tweet (shown below, center) received more than 7,600 retweets and 16,000 likes in 12 hours.

Twitter[37] user @pbump joked on Twitter, "People are misreading this as a claim that the ratings are the highest. Wrong! He's saying that, in history, mathematicians have never identified a number higher than 45.6 million." The post (shown below, right) received more than 828 retweets and 4,800 likes in 12 hours.


This is not "the highest number in history." Per @Nielsen, it is less than Bush '03 (62M), Clinton '98 (53M), Bush '02 (51.7M), Obama '10 (48M), and Clinton '94 (45.8M): nielsen.com/us/en/insights Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. @FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart! Jake Tapper @jaketapper Fewer viewers than the first SOTU's for Obama in 2010, Bush in 2002, Clinton in 1994. "Which means Trump's initial SOTU, the third longest in history, is now also the least watched address in nearly a quarter of a century." 35 People are misreading this as a claim that the ratings are the highest. Wrong! He's saying that, in history, mathematicians have never identified a number higher than 45.6 million. Donald J. Trump Φ @realDonaldTrump Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. @FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart!

That day, Fox News tweeted[40] a list of the most-viewed State of the Union speeches of all time, declaring Bill Clinton's 1993 address, which had more than 66 million TV viewers, the most watched State of the Union. The post (shown below) received more than 1,300 retweets and 1,700 likes in 24 hours.


ox WS Fox News Research @FoxNewsResearch #SOTU -TV Viewers: 2018: 45.6M 2017: 47.7M* 2016: 31.3M 2015: 31.7M 2014: 33.3M 2013: 33.5M 2012: 37.8M 2011: 42.8M 2010: 48.0M 2009: 52.4M* 2008: 37.5M 2007: 45.5M 2006: 41.7M 2005: 38.4M 2004: 43.4M 2003: 62.1M 1993: 66.9M* (largest TV audience) Not an official SOTU

Search Interest

External References

[1] NPR – Democrats Turn To A Kennedy For Rebuttal To Trump's State Of The Union Address

[2] The Hill – Sanders to deliver his own State of the Union response

[3] Twitter – @BillNye's Tweet

[4] Stop Bridenstein – Bill Nye

[5] Scientific American – Bill Nye Does Not Speak for Us and He Does Not Speak for Science

[6] Space Ref – Congressman Jim Bridenstine to Host Bill Nye "The Science Guy" and CEO of the Planetary Society at the State of the Union Address

[7] Politico – Everything you need to know: Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address

[8] Washington Post – Trump’s call for unity slams into reality of Washington’s political divisions

[9] Politifact – Fact-checking Donald Trump's 2018 State of the Union speech

[10] Twitter – @lbarronlopez's Tweet

[11] Twitter – @RepGosar's Tweet

[12] Twitter – @JeffFlake's Tweet

[13] Twitter – @RepGosar's Tweet

[14] Twitter – @DPsocialism's Tweet

[15] Twitter – @DaniellaMicaela's Tweet

[16] Twitter – @NutmegRadio's Tweet

[17] Twitter – Bernie Sanders' grumpy clap for Trump is now a meme 👏🏼

[18] Reddit – LIVE WATCH PARTY: President Trump Delivers the 2018 State of the Union Address

[19] Reddit – Donald Trump booed in his first State of the Union after hitting out at 'chain migration'

[20] Reddit – Discussion Thread: 2018 State of the Union Address

[21] Reddit – Discussion Thread: 2018 State of the Union Address – Post

[22] Twitter – Trump's unusual donor publicity move inspired mixed reactions

[23] Twitter – Trump: 'The state of our union is strong'

[24] Twitter – Rep. Joe Kennedy III delivers SOTU response

[25] Twitter – Democrats dress in black in a nod to #MeToo heroes

[26] Twitter – Trump's subtle jab at the NFL protests got huge applause

[27] The New York Times – 2018 State of the Union Fact-Check

[28] Vox – 5 big moments from Trump’s State of the Union address

[29] CNN – State of the Union 2018: Read the full transcript

[30] The Hill – Five takeaways from Trump’s State of the Union

[31] Twitter – @realDonaldTrump's Tweet

[32] CNN – Trump falsely claims ratings for his State of the Union were the highest ever

[33] Deadline – Donald Trump Snags 45.6M For 1st State Of The Union; Behind Obama, W & Bubba – Update

[34] Twitter – @WakeUp2Politics' Tweet

[35] Nielsen – NEARLY 46 MILLION VIEWERS WATCH PRESIDENT TRUMP'S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

[36] Twitter – @jaketapper's Tweet

[37] Twitter – @pbump's Tweet

[38] Twitter – @EoinHiggins_'s Tweet

[39] Twitter – @FrankLuntz's Tweet

[40] Twitter – @FoxNewsResearch's Tweet

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