Trump 'Will Have to Walk a Fine Line' at Tonight's State of the Union

Article ID: 688653

Released: 30-Jan-2018 9:05 AM EST

Source Newsroom: Northwestern University

Expert Pitch
  • Credit: Northwestern University

    Jaime Dominguez

  • Credit: Northwestern University

    Joseph Schofer

  • Credit: Northwestern University

    Alvin Tillery

Newswise — President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union Address on Jan. 30. The economy, immigration, tax reform and infrastructure are anticipated themes.

Alvin B. Tillery Jr. is an associate professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University. His research and teaching interests are in the fields of American politics and political theory. His research in American politics focuses on American political development, racial and ethnic politics and media and politics. He can be reached at (mobile) 574-514-5758 or

Quote from Professor Tillery

“President Trump’s upcoming State of the Union Address will provide him with excellent opportunities to improve his standing with the American people. Although he enters the address with historically low approval ratings and a cloud of suspicion due to the Mueller investigation, President Trump has successfully taken full control over the Republican Party in the weeks since he signed historic tax cut bill that emerged from Congress. We can expect his party in Congress to be strong surrogates for him as he uses the speech to tout this achievement and the continuance of the bull stock market that began under President Obama.

“President Trump has been all over the map on immigration in recent weeks, so we can expect that he will use the speech to finally clarify his policies. There is no doubt that he will lead with a further promise to build his wall, then move to a more compassionate position about DACA recipients, and close with a renewed promise to change the system along the lines of what the Cotton-Perdue proposal outlines. While this triangulated message will be a non-starter in terms of the actual Congressional debates, it will play well with President Trump’s base and also give him an opportunity to appear reasonable to an electorate that is largely uninformed about immigration issues.” 


Jaime Dominguez is a lecturer in the department of political science at Northwestern University. His research interests include race and ethnicity, coalition politics and urban and minority politics. He is one of the principal architects of the Chicago Democracy Project, a 30-year (1975 to 2005) online political database that provides citizens, community groups and religious organizations with information on campaign finance, electoral outcomes, government contracts and more.He can be reached at (mobile) 312-375-4868 or

Quote from Professor Dominguez

“Immigration will be a key component of the President’s address. He understands the importance of bringing Democrats on board to support any piece of legislation that leads to some kind of legal protection for Dreamers. At the same time, he knows such a proposition could throw the House in disarray including the conservative Freedom Caucus. He will have to walk a fine line.” 


Joseph Schofer is a leading academic specialist on transportation policy who can speak about infrastructure system investments and operations. A professor of civil and environmental engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering, a transportation committee member for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and host of “The Infrastructure Show” podcast, he can be reached at (mobile) 847-220-7925 and

Quote from Professor Schofer

“The leaked information about the administration’s infrastructure plan suggests, not surprisingly, a policy of pushing financial responsibility back to the states for projects within their boundaries.

“While states can and have moved more quickly than the moribund Congress to raise taxes and tolls for infrastructure projects, transportation infrastructure works because it is a networked system, and trips and shipments do not stop at the borders.

“Locks on the Mississippi River carry grain from many states to export terminals in Louisiana. Interstate Highways 40, 70, 80 and 90 carry people and freight across the nation, ignoring state boundaries. Indeed, the Interstate Highway System – 90 percent funded by federal motor fuel taxes, and even the transcontinental railroad 150 years ago built with federal subsidies, served the national interest, unifying the country and building our shared economy. There remains a very large federal interest in infrastructure.”

More News at Northwestern Now


Chat now!