State of the Union 2018: Analysis


President Donald J. Trump addresses Congress in his 2018 State of the Union speech.

During the annual State of the Union, Americans across the nation gather to watch the President of the United States deliver a speech to Congress. On Tuesday, January 30th, an estimated 45.6 million Americans tuned in, making President Donald J. Trump’s address the seventh most-watched SOTU out of the past twenty-seven, according to Nielson.

President Trump’s speech clocked in at 1 hour, 20 minutes, and 31 seconds, making it the third longest State of the Union address since Lyndon B. Johnson (former-President William J. Clinton exceeded this time on two separate occasions), according to the American Presidency Project.

Additionally, President Trump boasted high approval ratings after the broadcast, with three-quarters of Americans approving the speech, sixty-five percent of Americans claiming it made them feel “proud” and thirty-five percent of Americans claiming it made them feel “safer”, according to a CBS News report. Lastly, viewers labeled themselves based on party identification, with forty-two percent being Republican, twenty-five percent being Democrat, and thirty-three percent being Independent.


With the context of the SOTU established, let’s dive into the speech itself.


President Donald Trump’s audience call-outs:

President Trump utilized the stories of recent American heroes extensively, calling them out for applause and praise on a regular basis. From Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert at the introduction, to Mr. Ji Seong-ho at the conclusion, the President cited incredible stories that tapped into the heart of American values: courage, tenacity, and freedom.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert:

Firefighter David Dahlberg:

Small-Business Owner Steve Staub and Welder Corey Adams:

Preston Sharp (veteran’s graves):

Evelyn Rodriguez and Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado and Robert Mickens (tragic deaths of their daughters):

Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez:

Holets Family (adopted child):

Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck:

Fred and Cindy Warmbier, parents of Otto Warmbier:

Mr. Ji Seong Ho (North Korean defector):


Additionally, the President called on Congress several times to act.

Here are some noteworthy requests:

“Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver to the people. This is really the key. These are the people we were elected to serve.”

“So tonight, I call on Congress to empower every cabinet secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.”

“Tonight, I’m calling on Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment that our country so desperately needs.”

“Tonight, I am calling on Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed… criminal gangs, to break into our country. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol agents…”

“…I am asking Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.”

“So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed.”

“I am asking Congress to ensure that in the fight against ISIS and Al Qaida we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists, wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them.”

“I am asking Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal.”


Thanks for tuning in!


American Presidency Project:

CBS News Report: