President Donald Trump appears to have won the tactical battle surrounding his delivery of the 2020 State of the Union Address.
While the Democratic Party’s Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, gained attention by tearing up a copy of the President’s speech when he was finished, most observers suggest it was Mr Trump who won the battle for the hearts and minds of voters.
They say he seized the upper hand from the start of his nationally televised annual address by striding naked into the House of Representatives chamber in what many pundits described as a master class in style over substance.
The surprise move, not briefed in advance by the White House media office, took those in the chamber and viewers at home by surprise.
While almost all US Presidents have delivered the State of the Union Address fully clothed (Bill Clinton turned up to his 1997 speech minus his trousers and underpants), political pundits claimed Mr Trump’s flouting of the tradition will only help solidify his voter base and may have helped guarantee his re-election when Americans go to the polls in November.
Mr Trump’s appearance was loudly applauded by Republican Party members of congress who afterwards dismissed concerns about his nudity and denied it constituted “high crimes and misdemeanours” qualifying as grounds for possible impeachment.
They also excused Mr Trump for holding hostage Ms Pelosi’s own cat and theatrically grabbing it repeatedly during his speech (main picture) saying it simply showed his love of animals.
The stunt, which involved White House operatives secretly breaking into her Washington home earlier in the day and kidnapping the animal, clearly enraged Ms Pelosi and may have sparked her own blatant theatrics in shredding Mr Trump’s speech.
Analysts agreed that the Democratic Party overall did not use the occasion of the State of the Union Address to best effect and failed to divert attention from the party’s bungling of results of candidate causes in the state of Iowa.
They pointed to the opportunities that Democratic Senators seeking their party’s nomination such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders let pass during the President’s speech.
The 70-year-old Senator Warren drew comment by spending most of the President’s speech clapping, but afterwards explained she was trying to turn off the lights to take a nap.
At one point the 78-year-old Senator Sanders rose from his seat as if to interject but simply said in a loud voice “I gotta pee” before sitting down seconds later proclaiming “Too late”.