Trump's First Speech to Congress 'Hailed as One of Best Ever'

© AFP 2022 / JIM LO SCALZO / EPA POOLUS President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017
US President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017 - Sputnik International
Reminiscent of Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump's first speech to the US Congress is being hailed "as one of the best ever," former Republican Congressman Michael Patrick Flanagan told Radio Sputnik.

On Tuesday, President Trump made his first address to both houses of the US legislature. 

Trump's speech was conciliatory, and he began by referring to Black History Month and recent attacks on the Jewish community. "While we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms," he said.

"I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength," and "a new chapter of American Greatness" the President declared.

He spoke of the need to reduce regulation, reform US industry and invest in infrastructure and inner cities.

"We have withdrawn the United States from the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership," and "we will soon begin the construction of a great wall along our southern border," Trump said, referencing two key election pledges.

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Turning to foreign policy, the President remarked that "America has spent approximately six trillion dollars in the Middle East, all this while our infrastructure at home is crumbling."

Michael Patrick Flanagan, a former US Congressman and CEO of Flanagan Consulting, told Radio Sputnik that Trump's foreign policy rhetoric echoed that of Ronald Reagan, who also described US policy in the Middle East in terms of US interests rather than "an effort to save the world, or an effort to save the Middle East."

"He didn't go there, he said it's an existential threat to the United States and we will destroy it – because it's a threat to us, not because it's a threat to the Middle East or someone else" Flanagan said.

"It's that tone in the speech that's very Reaganesque, that grasps Americans in a way that we haven't been talked to in a long time and it's being hailed by left and right here in the US as a crazy successful speech."

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Flanagan said that Trump's business background, which is key to understanding his political ethos, contrasts with the US government's recent policy.

"The bottom line of negotiations is, you set out your utopian idea of what you'd like to ultimately get and then you negotiate to what you'll be willing to settle for, like any reasonable negotiator would. The American government does exactly the opposite, which is why we have a lot of twisted political speech and a lot of bad deals. Mr. Putin does the exact same thing and does it brilliantly and successfully. Mr. Trump is going to do the same sorts of things."

Trump's business background has given him skills valuable to government, such as negotiation. A novice but talented politician, Tuesday's speech represented a step forward in his political development, Flanagan said, adding that Trump was starting to sound like a traditional US president.

"This speech was the next step along the discussion on many important issues, and I think what separates this speech from much of that was the fact that this was the first time he sounded like a traditional president, who has been steeped in a long political process, rather than sounding like a good guy who's come in from the private sector and people find relief, pleasantness in this and that's a good thing."

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