In the face of the full-fledged Congress, US President Donald Trump landed a rally Tuesday, but political tensions in Washington, fueled by his inflamed comments on immigration, made the exercise perilous.
For this traditional speech on “the state of the Union”, the tempestuous American president has increased the calls for compromise in a speech with a rather sober tone, with the exception of a long passage on security at the border with Mexico, concluded on the promise that the wall would be well and truly built.
“The program I’m going to present tonight is neither Republican nor Democrat, it’s the American People’s,” he said, wearing his iconic red tie, in front of more than 500 elected officials, including many women. Democrats dressed in white, as a tribute to the centenary of the suffragette movement.
“Together, we can put an end to decades of political blockage, heal old wounds, build new coalitions,” he added, sticking fairly closely to the text on teleprompters.
– “Sudden desire for unity” –
But these calls from a customary president of fiery diatribes are unlikely to be heard by his political opponents. Especially since the text contained few new initiatives.
“It seems as if every year the president wakes up on the day of the State of the Union speech with a sudden desire for unity.The other 364 days of the year, the president spends his time dividing us “, had even joked, even before the speech, Chuck Schumer, tenor democrat of the Senate.
An image, loaded with symbols, summed up the difficulty of his delicate political equation: when he spoke to the elected representatives in full, the new “Speaker” of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi was, according to tradition, seated behind him, in the field of cameras. She has essentially remained impassive.
But the elected San Francisco Democrat, standing up against his wall project on the border with Mexico, has just inflicted a stinging political defeat. And the image of a clever negotiator, whom the 72-year-old real estate mogul likes to point out, has been seriously damaged.
After weeks of a strange game of lying poker, Donald Trump gave in to his political opponents and ended January 25 blocking federal services without getting a dollar for his flagship project to fight against illegal immigration .
– Investigations “ridiculous” –
At 21 months of the next presidential election, where he intends to seek a second term, the Republican has denounced, with a rare virulence in this forum, the “ridiculous” and “partisan” judicial investigations in reference to the investigations of the special prosecutor Robert Mueller on the links between his campaign team and Russia.
On a less mined ground, he has presented very good economic figures and a very dynamic labor market.
“After 24 months of rapid progress, the whole world envy us our economy, our army is the most powerful on Earth, and America is gaining every day,” he said.
If he once again asserted that the wall on the border with Mexico would be “built”, he finally did not, as he had hinted, declare a “national emergency”, an exceptional procedure that would allow him to bypass the Congress.
“It’s the immigrants, not the walls, that make America stronger,” responded her just after his speech Stacey Abrams, black woman and rising party figure, who gave him the answer on behalf of the Democrats.
Referring quickly to health issues, Trump set a goal for congressional officials to identify the necessary means to “eliminate the HIV epidemic” in the United States within ten years.
The chapter on foreign policy has earned him unequal applause in his camp, as some of his decisions are uncomfortable.
“The big nations are not fighting in endless wars,” Trump said in defense of the announced withdrawal of US troops from Syria, but also from Afghanistan, a country about which he spoke of “constructive” talks with the Taliban.
In a cruel call to order, the Senate had approved the day before, by a very large majority, an amendment criticizing its decision to withdraw US troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
– Trump-Kim Summit in Vietnam –
The US president also took the opportunity to announce the country and the date of his next summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un: February 27 and 28 in Vietnam.