Former Clinton speechwriter: Trump's address 'effective' method for rallying base

A former speechwriter for President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson Clinton2020 Democratic Party platform endorses Trump's NASA moon program Davis: My recommendation for vice president on Biden ticket Pelosi: Trump trying 'to suppress the vote' with attacks on mail-in ballots MORE called President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night an “effective” way to rally support among his base.

“A lot of Donald Trump supporters watched the speech — I’m sure they thought it was terrific and it was effective in that way,” Paul Glastris, now editor-in-chief at the Washington Monthly, told Hill.TV on Wednesday.

Glastris argued that national addresses have been traditionally used by past presidents to lay out their policy agendas for the year, but argued that this strategy has changed with increasing partisanship.

“Fewer and fewer of the opposition party ... watch the State of the Union, so when Bill Clinton was giving the State of the Union, there were a lot more Republicans watching it than when Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama2020 Democratic Party platform endorses Trump's NASA moon program Davis: My recommendation for vice president on Biden ticket Statehood for Puerto Rico and the obstruction of justice MORE gave a State of the Union,” he said.

Trump spent much of his national address touting his accomplishments, which included everything from his negotiation of a new trade deal to his various economic policies. The president claimed that the economy was “the best it has ever been,” and the “State of our Union is stronger than ever before.”

Democrats have ripped Trump's address, and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP lawmaker: Democratic Party 'used to be more moderate' White House not optimistic on near-term stimulus deal Sunday shows - Stimulus debate dominates MORE (D-Calf.) ripped a printed copy of Trump’s speech after the president concluded his speech, underscoring the tensions.

Before Trump began his speech, Trump appeared to snub the Speaker by not shaking her hand.

Pelosi defended her action as “the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives,” but later faced criticism from conservatives for the gesture, who called it “petty.”

The speech took place weeks after the House impeached Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It also came one day before the GOP-controlled Senate is likely to vote to acquit him of the impeachment charges.

—Tess Bonn