WASHINGTON – Georgetown University students and community members gathered to watch President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address said the most memorable parts of the event may be Trump’s seeming snub of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the outset and her ripping up a copy of his speech at the conclusion.
Peter Ren, who graduated from Georgetown in 2015, said he thought the president’s speech was “partisan in nature.” For him, the content and tone of the speech seemed intended to get support for his reelection campaign instead of explaining “what’s going on.”
“I think the most impactful parts were the body language and the parts that were unspoken,” Ren said. “For instance, when the president walked up to the rostrum and the Speaker extended her hand out to the president and he snubbed her. At the end, she was visibly ripping up the content of the speech she was provided.”
Georgetown freshman Jordan Westendorf was concerned Pelosi’s actions will be the focus of the media coverage because it was already making headlines before Trump left the House chamber where he delivered his speech to a joint session of Congress.
A member of Georgetown University College Democrats, Westendorfs said she took note of Trump’s remarks on health care and women’s reproductive rights, but does not think they will amount to much media coverage.
Westendorf also noted that with the Iowa Caucuses the day before and the possible Senate acquittal of the president on impeachment charges on Wednesday, the speech seemed hyper-partisan.
“They (the news media) weren’t covering this until an hour before and they had to cut into the coverage of Iowa,” she said.
Ahead of the viewing of the president’s speech, former House Reps. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., and Tom Davis, R-V.A., provided analysis.
“The president will take advantage of this last opportunity to have free time because he has no longer speeches and time between now and the election to express his accomplishments to the American people and to challenge the Congress on issues that need to be addressed,” Crowley said.
Crowley noted that Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi have different interests at this time. Trump is focused on re-election; Pelosi intends to maintain a Democratic majority in the House.