Where to Watch Tonight’s State of the Union, and What to Watch Out For
After being postponed during the partial government shutdown, President Trump’s second State of the Union address is finally set to go down tonight, February 5, at 9pm Eastern time. As is usually the case with these speeches, Trump will most likely use the occasion of a national audience to touch on some of his favorite political talking points (cough, cough, border wall). The address will also, almost certainly, give us a sneak peek at the campaign battles we can look forward to watching together in 2020.
Here’s what you need to know, and what you might want to look out for.
Where and when to watch
The speech is scheduled to begin at 9pm ET/6pm PT and will be broadcast on all major networks and live-streamed on their respective websites. Real-time Spanish language translations will be live-streamed on Noticias Telemundo’s site and YouTube channel. There will also be a livestream from the White House’s official YouTube channel.
What to look out for
1. That small matter of a border wall: Despite past threats to the contrary, the president is not expected to use the SOTU to call a state of national emergency in order to force the construction of a border wall. But he will likely repeat his ongoing insistence that the US faces an immigration crisis, and that a border wall is the only way to end it.
2. Some position statement on abortion: The fight over second- and third-trimester abortion has been top of mind in the last few weeks, thanks to a bill currently under review in the Virginia state legislature. Roe v. Wade is a key issue among Trump’s evangelical base, and the president has maintained an anti-abortion stance for the entirety of his political career. He even made a campaign promise to appoint a pro-life judge to the Supreme Court.
3. Not-so-subtle Democratic guests: As Betches pointed out earlier today, the Democrat guest list promises special SOTU appearances by a number of people who seem custom-chosen to get under GOPers’ skin. Elizabeth Warren is bringing a government worker who was furloughed during the shutdown, while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is bringing the activist who yelled at Jeff Flake in an elevator during the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation. Rep. Chris Pappas will be bringing a transgender Navy veteran.
4. Joshua Trump: Don’t worry, the Trump camp isn’t leaving all the proxy-trolling-by-guest to the Dems: a sixth-grade boy who was reportedly “bullied” for sharing the president’s last name will be seated in FLOTUS Melania Trump’s box as her guest of honor.
(Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)