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The state of the union is strong, and so was the president’s speech

By in Press Enterprise on February 1, 2018

By John Phillips

The success or failure of President Trump’s State of the Union address before both houses of Congress can be measured by any number of factors; instant polls of viewers who saw the speech, public approval ratings a couple of days down the road, how members of Congress react to his legislative proposals, those are just a few markers that come to mind.

But as far as I’m concerned, the most accurate metric we have, by far, is how quickly the cable networks move on to other subjects after the speech is delivered. If Trump hit it out of the park, suddenly they’ll find some new “bombshell” in the Russia investigation or accuse some other relative of killing JonBenet Ramsey — if he bombed they’ll go to wall-to-wall coverage without even taking a break for Sally Field to sell you pills to help fight osteoporosis.

So far, we have some results from instant polls. According to a CBS News survey, 75 percent of speech watchers approved of the speech, while 25 percent disapproved.

When you break down the speech into parts, CBS found that 81 percent of Americans felt Trump was trying to unite the country, rather than divide it, 65 percent said the speech made them feel proud and most importantly, 72 percent favor Trump’s immigration proposal.

Based on these preliminary numbers, expect your favorite cable news program to go heavy on the car chases.

The immigration number is particularly important, because the meat and potatoes of this speech was about the president’s immigration proposal and where he wants the congressional negotiations to be in a week.

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