During tonight’s State of the Union address, President Donald Trump will be sharing his plan for the coming year and his hope for future policies and reform. He’ll likely also be talking about immigration, healthcare, and the economy. While you’re watching the State of the Union tonight, you may be wondering: Who’s sitting behind Trump while he’s speaking to Congress and the nation?
Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi are sitting behind Trump during his State of the Union speech tonight. As they do every year, they will be the ones that you see seated behind Trump as he addresses the nation. Although there’s no rule requiring that this happens, this is the tradition for every State of the Union speech. The top leaders of the Senate and the House always sit behind the President while he gives his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress. The Vice President is the top leader of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House is the top leader for the House.
Many people are interested in watching Nancy Pelosi’s expressions during Trump’s address. Last year, Pelosi went viral when she sarcastically clapped at Trump while he was talking. Here’s a look at what she did last year.
People were also very interested in what Pelosi was reading last year during Trump’s speech.
Other things you might want to watch for during the speech include the special guests that Democrats and Republicans bring. You’ll want to watch to see if Trump goes off-script (and maybe count how many times he says “fake news,” “Sleepy Joe,” or “Crazy Bernie.”) You’ll also want to keep an eye out for protests during the SOTU. Will anyone shout something out to Trump while he’s speaking and try to heckle the President?
Also, you’ll want to watch the response speeches after the State of the Union. After Trump speaks, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will deliver the Democrats’ official response to the State of the Union. Whitmer will be speaking from East Lansing High school, which is the school where her children are enrolled. Whitmer was elected governor in 2018. It’s not known if any of the Democratic candidates will be delivering their own speeches after Whitmer’s, but Whitmer’s will be the only official speech from the Democratic party.
Bernie Sanders decided that he will not be attending Trump’s State of the Union today. Instead, Sanders will be delivering his own address at a New Hampshire rally. Then later in the evening following his New Hampshire rally, Sanders will be giving his own State of the Union response. Sanders’ rally will be at 6:30 p.m. Eastern and his SOTU response will be at 10:30 p.m. Eastern. If Trump goes long and the Democrats’ official response is delayed, it’s likely that Sanders’ response will also be delayed.