A new interactive graphic in Axios breaks down what Trump talked about in both the SOTU address and a speech to Congress from last year. The latter, his Joint Session speech from February 2017, was similar in length to this year’s SOTU, acting as a point of comparison that clarifies the structure of the SOTU speech–and shows the evolution of Trump’s pet issues.
The issues are highlighted in different colors so you can get a quick sense of how much Trump focused on areas like the economy, public safety, immigrant, and foreign policy, and where during the speech he did so.
At a glance, it’s apparent that Trump focuses mostly on the economy (and tax reform) near the beginning of the SOTU–similar to what he did in the Joint Session speech. But after that, you see a marked emphasis this year on immigration and public safety. You can see the red and blue lines representing these two topics alternating through the middle section of the State of the Union, showing structurally how Trump’s speechwriters are trying to make immigration policy a matter of public safety. The speech’s emphasis on these core elements of Trump’s agenda reveal that, as The New York Times‘s editorial board so aptly put it, “he is delivering the most ruthless, conventionally conservative domestic policy in memory.”