HEAR YE, HEAR YE: In this highly contentious political climate, President Trump’s State of the Union address will inevitably lead to further debate.
Tonight’s speech in the House Chamber was sandwiched between two other historic political happenings — Monday’s chaotic Iowa Caucus and Wednesday’s Senate scheduled vote on the President’s impeachment.
Ahead of tonight’s State of the Union broadcast, Trump reportedly told several news people during a private lunch that he wasn’t “bitter” about the impeachment. House Democrats had voted to impeach him for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.
Billed as the “Great American Comeback,” tonight’s State of the Union had all sorts of ground to cover, namely touting the U.S. economy’s strength, the low unemployment rate, foreign affairs, health care, social security, coronavirus and building the wall for U.S. border control. While Trump stuck with his signature dark suit, white shirt and red necktie for his delivery, the First Lady seemed to follow a similar dress code in a navy Dolce & Gabbana suit. Her all-business attire consisted of a double-breasted jacket with a below-the-knee pencil skirt. The slimming silhouette is a signature for the European designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, as well as the First Lady. Not one to veer into trendy styles, FLOTUS is consistent with her fashion choices for global photo-ops.
Trump’s fashion adviser, Hervé Pierre, a designer in his own right, is not one for frippery, nor is his most-photographed client. His philosophy appears to be that the more you dress like yourself, the stronger you will feel. Pierre seems to be of the school that having FLOTUS stick to a straight-to-the-point style allows her to focus on the abundance of issues at hand. The Red State-Blue State discourse can be seen in Gallup’s latest poll, which pegged President Trump’s approval rating at 49 percent, with 50 percent of Americans disapproving of him and just 1 percent having no opinion.
Following the fashion lead of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, many Congresswoman also wore white pantsuits, as a nod to the 100th anniversary of white women earning the right to vote. Pelosi, meanwhile, wore the same Mace of the Republic brooch she wore to announce the impeachment vote. (After Trump finishes his remarks Tuesday night, she tore up her copy of the president’s remarks.)
Ivanka Trump stood out in a sleeveless black sheath dress. More noticeable and surprising to the crowd was Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido. Another unexpected moment occurred, when political radio host Rush Limbaugh was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by FLOTUS.
The First Lady had worn a Dolce & Gabbana suit for another key occasion – her official White House portrait. But tonight’s tiny-waisted suit was far more feminine and Jacques Fath-esque than the one she wore for the portrait. FLOTUS also wore a vibrant floral coat from the Italian design duo for the arrival of the White House’s official Christmas tree in late November. For two other more momentous occasions — last year’s meet-and-greet with Queen Elizabeth II and a meeting a few years ago with Pope Francis — the First Lady also wore Dolce & Gabbana.
As was the case with the President’s previous State of the Union speeches in 2018 and 2019, this year’s included special guests including military families and local leaders. FLOTUS and Donald J. Trump Jr. were joined in the gallery by Kelli Hake, whose husband Christopher, a U.S. Army staff sergeant, was killed during his second tour of duty in Iraq. Army veteran Paul Morrow, who is now building a concrete plant in Montgomery, Ala.’s Opportunity Zone, was also an invited guest.
FLOTUS also favored an all-business dress code at last year’s State of the Union, turning up in a military-inspired no-nonsense Burberry dress. Much was made by the media and more casual observers about the white Dior pantsuit and white Dolce & Gabbana blouse that Trump sported to her husband’s 2018 State of the Union address. Whether she was winking at the suffragettes was a topic of great discussion and dissection. Her decision to arrive that year on her own was another of what has become many tradition-breaking moments by the Trumps.