WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump pushed hard for the moment when he could deliver this State of the Union address with all the pomp the Capitol venue can offer -- robed Supreme Court justices, solons of the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wearing suffragette white, and prime time on America's TV sets.
Tuesday night, he used it to his advantage.
The White House promised a "unifying" speech. Ken Khachigian, a former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, put it another way: "He gave them sugar cubes and vinegar in the same speech."
One minute Trump was appealing to Democrats -- many of whom came dressed in white and determined not to respond positively -- with a call to end HIV, fight childhood cancer and provide paid family leave. The next Trump hit the left for supporting late-term abortion and made a case for funding a wall on the border with Mexico to reduce crime and illegal immigration.
While many in Washington wondered how Trump would handle Pelosi, he was free to pontificate while the public could watch her face, and wait to see whether, for example, she would stand up when Trump said America would never be a socialist country. She did not.