President’s hardcore base craves red-meat rhetoric. Will he give it to them?
Bill Clinton’s State of the Union address in 1999, made in the midst of his impeachment trial, exemplified his ability to compartmentalize, Shapiro writes, but that’s a skill Donald Trump doesn’t possess. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)
OPINION — In 1999, in the midst of his impeachment trial, Bill Clinton delivered a typically verbose State of the Union Address that ran for 78 minutes. Although it surprised many at the time, Clinton did not display a glimmer of concern about his predicament or allude to impeachment in any way.
Even more than most presidents, Clinton had a rare talent to compartmentalize. But the 1999 State of the Union was more than just an artful performance by a political master of denial. At the end of his speech, Clinton actually unveiled a new political argument that shaped the final two years of his presidency.