"This year," President Trump stated in his widely viewed and positively rated State of the Union address, "America will recognize two important anniversaries that show us the majesty of America's mission and the power of American pride."
"On D-Day, June 6, 1944, 15,000 young American men jumped from the sky, and 60,000 more stormed in from the sea," he said. And in July 1969, "brave young pilots flew a quarter of a million miles through space to plant the American flag on the face of the moon."
None of the commentators I've seen have questioned why Trump chose to spotlight these events. He is not usually given to historical references; his trademark slogan is vague about just when American was great. Celebrating others' past achievements has not been his thing. But beginning the speech by celebrating these two American triumphs provided a shrewd framing with the potential to elevate his image.
Trump has obviously paid heed to the political numbers that show him likely to lose the next election. He got 46 percent of the popular vote in 2016 and won because he threaded several needles to win enough electoral votes.