State of the Union 2018: When and How to Watch This Major Political Event

President Trump will attempt to set a course for the nation.

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At 9 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, January 30, President Donald Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address. Typically, the annual speech is an exercise in formality — the State of the Union is an opportunity for the president to set a national mood and lay out policy goals for the upcoming year.

Whether or not President Trump will continue that tradition is anybody’s guess. Political pundits across the spectrum think Tuesday’s address will hew closely to a script, but given the President’s proclivity for extemporaneous speech, it wouldn’t be a big surprise if he went rogue.

Trump said on Monday that he will recap the economic successes of his first presidential year in the national address, and White House officials said that the main theme of the the speech will be, “a safe, strong, and proud America,” according to NBC News. President Trump is also expected to outline his infrastructure plan, a policy initiative that could find bipartisan success.

How to Watch

The address will be broadcast live on all major TV networks (like CBS and NBC), on any cable news channel (like CNN or MSNBC), or you can stream it live from the White House website.

The State of the Union is an important political event because it is one of few speeches that reaches a full national audience. Most of Trump’s speaking events this past year have been rally-style gatherings for his supporters.

Both the tone and content of the majority of his speeches have been directed at sympathetic crowds in outdoor venues or arenas. But the formal constraints of a joint address to Congress pose a very different set of challenges.

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