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By Robert A. Strong

What are the odds that President Trump, when he finally makes it to the podium in the U.S. Capitol tonight, will give us anything that lasts longer than a single news cycle?

State of the Union speeches are, as most Americans know, usually boring and predictable events, anticipated far more than they are remembered. So the odds are stacked against this president saying anything that historians will later cite.

But, occasionally, presidents have used them as an opportunity to state things of lasting importance. For instance, President Monroe announced the doctrine that bears his name in his written state of the union; George W. Bush introduced Americans to “the Axis of Evil;” and Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed “the four freedoms.”


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