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Trump’s Delusion About His State Of The Union Has Washington Questioning His Mental Stability

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President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address was watched by 45.6 million viewers. That’s not an unimpressive feat by any means, but it is less than the number who tuned into Barack Obama’s first State of the Union, and even less than the number who tuned into Bill Clinton’s. Some are calling it a “slump.”

In fact, as far as “first” State of the Union addresses go, Trump under-performed his last three predecessors, Obama, George W. Bush, and Clinton. Just don’t tell that to Trump, who thinks his was the highest rated SOTU speech, ever.

Trump tweeted as much on Thursday morning, getting his numbers right, but claiming his first State of the Union speech was the most watched in history — without the qualifier, even, of being a “first” State of the Union speech.

The record for highest-rated State of the Union speech (not just a president’s first) belongs to George W. Bush, who amassed more than 60 million viewers on the precipice of announcing America’s invasion of Iraq.

But even giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, and supposing he meant he had the highest “first for a new president” State of the Union speech audience ever, he’s still off the mark. Bush again wins that distinction, with more than 50 million viewers in 2002 (which came just a few months after 9/11). Barack Obama comes in second place, with a viewership of around 47 million viewers, two million more than Trump’s numbers. And Bill Clinton edges out Trump for his “first” State of the Union speech, with 45.8 million viewers.

None of this really matters to anyone, of course — except to Trump. Ratings do not equate whether a speech was full of truths or if the American people support the chief executive speaking. But to Trump, ratings are more important than they should be.

For a president notorious for lying, especially about crowd sizes (as he made the same erroneous claim about breaking records during his inauguration), such a claim really speaks to his character, and demonstrates his discomfort with not being the best — especially when it comes to his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama.

Why Trump acts this way is anyone’s guess, but no president should be this concerned about something so trivial. That the current president emphasizes such blatantly false claims in the face of contradictory evidence — and puts such force behind  being believed about them when he’s wrong — should be concerning to the country.


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