From Clinton’s cockiness to Reagan’s contrition to Nixon’s defiance, three different models for Donald Trump
by Matt Welch
A State of the Union Address during the middle of an impeachment trial? How unprecedented is that? Not at all, turns out.
Twenty years and two weeks ago, about halfway through a monthlong Senate trial that would end with two verdicts of not guilty, President Bill Clinton strode like a gladiator into a joint session of Congress and unfurled an almost comically triumphalist 78-minute stemwinder to near-constant applause.
Craziest of all? He didn’t even mention impeachment. It really was the damndest thing. “That year,” Clinton speechwriter Michael Waldman recently recalled, “the State of the Union was…weird.”