WASHINGTON — A president rarely has stepped forward to address a Joint Session of Congress at a more promising time. Or a more perilous one.
Donald Trump on Tuesday can fairly boast that the State of the Union in many ways is strong, with steady economic growth, historically low unemployment and a stock market that keeps breaking records. But it is also a time of grave danger for his presidency, as his lawyers negotiate the ground rules for his interview with a special counsel investigating allegations of election fraud and obstruction of justice.
Not since Bill Clinton delivered his State of the Union address in 1999, as his impeachment trial was underway in the Senate, has a president spoken amid such personal and political tumult. Then, in his speech, President Clinton decided to ignore entirely the scandal that threatened to end his presidency. (The Senate acquitted him a month later.)
Will Trump follow Clinton's example? Or will he repeat his denunciations of the Russia investigation as a "hoax" and a "witch hunt?"
That's one of a half-dozen things we'll be watching for when President Trump marks the end of a year in office with his first formal State of the Union address. For starters….