Donald Trump had a really good night.
Most came away from his first joint address of Congress, feeling refreshed by the more presidential man we saw before us. As I watched social media respond to the speech, I was pleasantly surprised to see that many were able to see beyond their partisan beliefs to recognize the change in President Trump.
Cable News talkers were clearly impressed too as both Chris Wallace and Van Jones referred to it as the night Donald Trump “became President”. According to a CNN Poll, almost 70% of those who watched the speech were left feeling with a sense of optimism, and that’s no small feat in the current political climate, with over half feeling positive to it.
Nearly 7-in-10 who watched said the President’s proposed policies would move the country in the right direction and almost two-thirds said the president has the right priorities for the country. Overall, about 7-in-10 said the speech made them feel more optimistic about the direction of the country.
This survey was conducted just after the participants watched the speech. In all categories, Trump won the night.
On specific issues, Trump scored the highest marks for his proposed policies on the economy, with 72% saying those went in the right direction. Almost as many, 70%, said the same about his terrorism proposals. Slightly fewer, but still a majority, felt his policies on taxes (64%), immigration (62%) or health care (61%) were heading in the right direction.
Ideologically, about two-thirds saw Trump’s speech as about right, while roughly on-quarter (26%) pegged it as too conservative. Just 8% said it wasn’t conservative enough.
I tend to find myself in the minority here in that it wasn’t fiscally conservative enough for me. Having said that his speech was pitch perfect, for a country desperate for leadership and unity. From the moment he arrived in a newly tailor suit jacket, you could almost feel the shift. This was a different Donald Trump. For the first time Trump spoke in measured tones, that resonated with viewers from both parties.
Frank Luntz conducted a focus group for tonight’s speech which mirrored the results of the CNN poll. Of the twenty-one participants, 19 of them said Trump did better than expected.
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) March 1, 2017
He even set a new record for the number of tweets sent during a presidential address. This statistic is one that is sure to please the new President.
Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday was the most tweeted State of the Union or joint session speech ever with 3 million tweets compared to the previous record of 2.6 million, according to Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilio. Former president Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union speech was the old record holder
And while the speech writers deserve much of the credit, it would be unfair to discount Donald Trump’s earnest delivery. Trump not only looked the part, in many ways he became the part. For all his faults, President Trump is never more genuine than when he is speaking about his love of America. During his first address to the joint sessions, he was able to tap into that emotion to reassure and encourage those watching. As it turns out, it may have been just the motivational speech America needed.
In his closing words, Trump returned to the near poetry of his opening, asking Americans to unite…
I am asking all citizens to embrace this Renewal of the American Spirit. I am asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big, and bold and daring things for our country. And I am asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment and —
Believe in yourselves.
Believe in your future.
And believe, once more, in America.
Thank you, God bless you, and God Bless these United States.
It doesn’t get more inspirational than that. Now the question becomes, can he take advantage of this momentum shift? We shall see, however, if I’ve learned nothing about Donald J. Trump in the last two years, it’s that you should never underestimate him.