As readers of his Twitter feed are well aware, President Trump firmly believes his first year in office has unleashed an economic boom fueled by the deregulation of business and the promise of tax cuts that Republicans in Congress delivered on last month. On Tuesday night, Trump plans to use his State of the Union address to make sure he gets the credit for it.
A highlight reel of accomplishments and strong economic data points will be one of five main themes of Trump’s speech, which will also focus heavily on immigration, infrastructure, trade, and national security, the White House said Friday in a preview for reporters. “People will be reminded, in some cases surprised, but they will be reminded about how much President Trump accomplished in his first year,” a senior administration official said on a conference call held on the condition of anonymity.
Presidents in both parties have traditionally devoted a portion of their annual State of the Union speeches to patting themselves on the back and touting their record. But even for an avid self-promoter like Trump, this task carries additional importance.
He’s a president starting his second year in worse standing with the public than any of his predecessors, and he’s heading into a midterm election that could wipe out his party’s majorities in Congress. A Republican defeat in November could cripple Trump’s presidency, and the party’s chances rest in large part on how well it can sell the public on the $1.5 trillion tax cut Trump signed in December and the broader success of the economy.