Trump's speech strikes a conciliatory note

After a turbulent first year in office and facing the worst opinion polls in history, Donald Trump has called for unity in his first State of the Union Address. The US president has struck a surprisingly conciliatory note, observers comment, fluctuating between relief and mistrust.

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Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

An almost perfect speech

Hospodářské noviny is amazed at the high standard of the address:

“Donald Trump has provoked an almost pathological sense of revulsion in American and all over the world. So many had difficulty acknowledging yesterday that his speech on the State of the Union was very good, in fact almost perfect. Focussed on optimism, shared identity and America's extraordinariness. He wants to invest in infrastructure, offered two million illegal migrants the possibility of acquiring citizenship and wants to maximise the pressure on North Korea. Next autumn a new Congress will be elected. Then we'll see whether the people believe the Republicans backing Trump or the Democrats who warned yesterday: don't believe a thing Trump says.”

El Mundo (ES) /

A shimmer of hope

El Mundo displays a certain sense of relief:

“The best part was that he basically didn't say anything. For the first time his advisors managed to get him to exercise restraint. ... Trump did all he could to come across as a conventional politician. His triumphant tone, however, stands in stark contrast to the reality in his country, increasingly divided and incapable of assuming a leading role on the international stage. But at least he gave the inappropriate remarks a rest for a day and his provocations were almost exclusively directed at North Korea. Hopefully this can be seen as a symptom of an enduring sense of responsibility.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Gratuitous boasting

Trump's address was an exercise in baseless self-aggrandisement, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung comments:

“The president patted himself on the back for the rise in employment since his election, although you have to go back to 2010 to find a year when fewer jobs were created. He spoke of the biggest tax cuts in American history even though his predecessors Obama and Bush did far more to relieve taxpayers. He didn't say a word about how the drop in unemployment, the rise in share prices and the success of the fight against the IS were a continuation of developments that started long before he was elected. Trump is like a rooster convinced that the sun rises in answer to its crows.”

Keskisuomalainen (FI) /

Patriotism sidelines the key issues

The speech was very revealing in the opinion of Keskisuomalainen:

“The US is a divided country. That's how Donald Trump's State of the Union address can be interpreted. Although his speech was more statesmanlike than previous ones and the Republicans regarded it as conciliatory and directed at the whole nation, in the Democrats' opinion it divided the country more than it united it. ... In this speech which glorified American patriotism there wasn't much room for other topics. Environmental issues were pushed aside, on foreign policy Trump confined himself to naming a few competing countries and evil states. And on Russia Trump also remained silent, because the investigations into ties with the country have basically left him inactive in this area of foreign policy.”