CHICAGO (CBS) — All eyes will be on the Capitol Tuesday evening, where President Donald Trump will deliver one of the most anticipated State of the Union addresses in years.
Love him or hate him, CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley explains what to watch for.
Even for Trump, who has been an unconventional chief executive, experts say with his approval ratings at 38 percent, there’s a lot at stake in his first official State of the Union speech.
“If I were planning for the president, there’d be two goals: show Congress we can work together, so we can get through the budget that comes up, and show the American people you can act presidential in this very, very staged format,” said Nick Kachiroubas, a DePaul University political scientist.
Three Chicago Democrats are boycotting the speech. Rep. Robin Kelly, however, is not. Instead, she’s bringing Kwame Raoul as a guest, who’s a candidate for attorney general. The son of Haitian immigrants, Kelly says Raoul’s very presence is a rebuke to Trump’s disparagement of Haiti.
“He represents the best of America’s ongoing immigration legacy, one that has made our nation great,” Kelly said.
And two Illinois representatives, Brad Schneider, a Democrat, and Randy Hultgren, a Republican, plan to sit together during the speech to emphasize the need for bipartisan cooperation.
“I’m always willing to push Brad to the right,” Hultgren said. “And the people we represent, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans, want to get things done.”
Schneider agreed, saying, “I think it says we’re putting our constituents first — that we’re looking for ways to work together.”
The White House says the president plans to take credit for tax cuts and a thriving economy. Trump is also expected to outline a $1.7 trillion infrastructure program, as well as funding for a Mexican border wall and a path to citizenship for DACA students.
President Trump is set to address the nation at 8 p.m. on CBS 2.