How Three Past Presidents Dealt with Scandal During Their State of the Union Addresses

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.”

Continue Reading at…