The White House wouldn’t say Wednesday night just how President Donald Trump would deliver the State of the Union address on Jan. 29.
But betting within the administration is that he would do so in a broadcast from the White House — the first such format for the annual address since Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his State of the Union over national radio in 1944.
Mr. Trump’s delivering the traditional address from the House Chamber ended after Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in effect, “disinvited” him earlier in the week.
The speaker, who had two weeks before issued a formal invitation to the president to make the State of the Union, cited an inability to provide accurate security for the event because of the government shutdown.
Few within the president’s inner circle or the Republican ranks on Capitol Hill take Pelosi at her word. The consensus among Republicans is that the speaker does not want Trump to be in a venue in which he can point to her and other Democratic leaders and challenge them to vote for his $5.6 billion to build his border wall.
Under these circumstances, Mr. Trump has several options: He can send the address in writing, as presidents did from John Adams to William Howard Taft (with Woodrow Wilson establishing the new precedent of addressing Congress in person on the State of the Union).
Or, he could take the unprecedented step of delivering the State of the Union from the border at McAllen, Texas — complete with families of victims murdered by killers in the U.S. illegally and uniformed border patrolmen.
But right now, the betting is he will take a page from FDR’s book and broadcast the message from the White House.
Returning from conferences in Cairo and Tehran with Britain’s Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, Roosevelt in 1944 was exhausted and suffering from a flu. Rather than stand for more than an hour before Congress, he chose to address the nation on Jan. 11, 1944 via radio from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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