President Donald Trump and the State of California are dramatically opposed, with the Democrat-dominated state leading the so-called “Resistance” and suing the administration over nearly every major policy.
But President Trump used his first official State of the Union address on Tuesday evening to reach out to the Golden State, setting the tone for a speech that was surprisingly conciliatory, and that emphasized themes of national unity.
In the introductory portion of his speech, Trump addressed the recent emergencies and naturaal disasters that had struck California and the rest of the nation, sounding a unifying theme right from the outset — instead of leaving such messages for the conclusion, as presidents often do.
Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success. We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined. We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship. We endured floods and fires and storms. But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.
Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.
We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg. He is here with us too. David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.
To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California, and everywhere else — we are with you, we love you, and we will pull through together.
The unity of the moment was short-lived, as California’s own House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi refused to stand or applaud for the president’s call to come together: “But it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy. Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.”
Still, Californians who have become accustomed to confrontation with the president — who has yet to visit the state in his presidency — could take comfort in a moment of outreach.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.