America’s CEO President

President Trump’s first State of the Union address may not have thrilled resistors, but it certainly appealed to center and right-of-center voters. He combined the Reaganesque emotional pull of heartstring “American hero” stories with big picture goals, and threw in some progressive ideas, too.

Some tech industry and media pundits were disappointed by the lack of specific mentions of broadband, STEM education and cybersecurity. But overall, the president acted like a true CEO Tuesday night, focusing his remarks on our nation’s biggest issues. I credit his executive skills in abstaining from the standard State of the Union laundry list of second-tier issues designed to please various constituencies.

Instead, the one subject he devoted the most time to was making the case for a four-point immigration plan. Ending the visa lottery program and pushing for merit-based immigration is similar to what many other countries do, including Canada — not exactly a right-wing country. In fact, many developed countries successfully use a points-based immigration system to meet the needs of their economies and attract the best and brightest immigrants from around the world.

And President Trump offered several progressive policy ideas in his speech, including a push for prison reform, a renewed focus on vocational education, support for paid family leave and a reinstated commitment to lowering drug prices.

President Trump understands that it’s not what you say that people remember, but how you make your audience feel.

If you hated or loved the president before his speech, your feelings probably haven’t changed. But those in the middle may have grown convinced that this president is focusing on the biggest issues: infrastructure, the economy, trade and foreign relations. And on every issue, President Trump weaved in heart-wrenching stories with real Americans in the audience to convey an engaged, focused president who wants to keep his promises, ignore party fault lines and solve our biggest problems.

This was a confident president in control. Now, if he doesn’t tweet!