Everyone Hates the State of the Union Address

The State of the Union address: What exactly is the point? On the one hand, Pelosi's Shutdown Smackdown put Trump in a corner by threatening to deny all that attention and adulation in a stately chamber during a primetime slot. On the other hand, maybe it's time to scrap this extravagant, over-baked format altogether? Host Jamilah King explores this time-honored presidential moment with two guests: James Fallows, staff writer at The Atlantic and former chief speech writer for President Jimmy Carter, and Jeffrey Engel, founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. Rather than arguing the pros and cons, Fallows and Engel discuss what history can teach us about how to salvage the most important annual address of the presidency and turn it back into something both more traditional and more effective. But it wouldn't be possible to talk about any of this, of course, without assessing the lasting impact of Trump's extreme, norm-defying approach to presidential power.

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