Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way
~ Frank Sinatra, “My Way”
Meanwhile, in Donald Trump’s White House…
President Donald J. Trump has completely stopped listening to advisors and staff. Taking counsel from qualified people was not really done during the campaign or first year in office to begin with, but with an approval rating in the low thirties and a constant deluge of negative press for his poor performance, Trump is manning the ship all by himself.
With his first State of the Union address, Trump wouldn’t listen to or meet with speechwriters. “Fuck em,” he said last week. “Nobody likes the speeches they make me give anyway. I’m writing the address myself. We’ll do it like the rallies. People love the rallies.”
Panic spread like smallpox throughout the White House. He can’t do this. It’s going to be dropping a Zippo into a bucket of gasoline. It’s going to be a disaster.
Trump would not listen.
This cold January evening, President Trump steps to the podium in the United States Capitol building – which is now adorned with a black sign with gold lettering promoting the Trump Organization – with only a few pages from a yellow legal pad on which he has scrawled some scattershot ideas with a Sharpie.
There are two plush leather chairs behind the podium. Traditionally, the Vice President and Speaker of the House sit in those chairs for the annual speech. Not tonight. Taking Pence’s spot is Ivanka, wearing a custom red $95,000 dollar cleavage-bearing Armani gown. Speaker Paul Ryan was escorted by Trump’s private security guards and placed in the balcony. His seat is occupied by the First Pet, Trump’s chimpanzee that he lovingly named Titties. Titties refused to wear a dress and her Ralph Lauren tuxedo was referred to by the President as “fuckin snazzy.”
Trump takes a sip of water from a glass tumbler using both hands. Then he begins his speech.
“My fellow Americans, good evening. We have a lot of really tremendous people here tonight. The First Lady, Melania, she’s here, and, let me tell you, it was fake news that she was crying on election night – a tremendous victory over Crooked Hillary Clinton that everyone said was impossible, nobody thought we could get 270 electoral votes, we got 306, one of the biggest victories ever, since Reagan, and there was no collusion, everybody knows that – on election night Melania was very, very happy, believe me. All of my children are here tonight. Barron is a great fuckin kid. Don and Eric are doing a phenomenal job running the company, it’s a tremendous company, one of the greats, you all know that. Ivanka, she’s my favorite, is here behind me, you look very sexy, honey. Even Trudy is here.”
“It’s Tiffany, daddy!” Ivanka says from behind the President.
“Right, Tiffany. Great girl.”
The gallery in the capitol already has mouths agape. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski leans over to Susan Collins, Senator from Maine, and whispers, “If this is how it starts, oh my God.”
“We’ve had a very, very successful first year, one of the biggest of all time, so stand up, come on, get up, everybody.”
Trump has asked for a standing ovation. His family and about forty other people in the gallery stand. Everyone else stays seated on principle; elected officials are not ordered to stand for an ovation.
Shocked by this, the President just pretends everyone is standing up lauding his success anyway. “Thank you. Everybody is up, look at that. Thank you.”
The network cameras pan the audience to show most people seated with their arms folded. Jared Kushner isn’t even paying attention, as he is still seated watching beheading videos from Bestgore.com on his phone.
“Huge standing ovation!” Trump yells. “Obama never got ovations like that. Wow. Wow.”
In the front row, Mike Pence puts his fingers to his temples as if trying to sooth a migraine. He then mouths to himself, “Jesus, take the wheel.” Chris Hayes will later bring in deaf actress Marlee Matlin to All In on MSNBC so she can read the Vice President’s lips and confirm the quote. “He said ‘Jesus, take the wheel.’ No doubt about it,” She said. It’s a Carrie Underwood song, I think. I’ve never heard it.”
The President continued, “There has been no collusion, folks, between the Trump campaign and Russians or Trump and Russians with Trump. No collusion. I mean, the, fuckin, Democrats are all running for office, trying to say this that – but bottom line, they all say there’s no collusion. And there is no collusion. It’s a witch hunt, the biggest ever. But it has been determined that there is no collusion and by virtually everybody. So we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens. I mean, certainly we’ll see what happens – when there’s no collusion and nobody’s found any collusion at any level.”
CNN’s cameras find Paul Ryan, sitting in the third row from the top of the balcony, placed between two obese Congressional aids. Paul Ryan looks sad. He receives a text on his iPhone from Mitch McConnell that reads, HE SAID “COLLUSION” SEVEN TIMES IN THAT SECTION.
Trump spies Senators Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi sitting together in the audience, whispering some heckles and giggling to one another.
“Chuck and Nancy!” Trump bellows and points at the Senators. “They used to be so nice to Trump. So nice. But they’re bad people. Very bad. I talked to Louie Gohmert the other day, not sure if he’s a Senator or a Congress-guy, terrific guy, short guy, weird voice, but nice guy, and he said he got onto an elevator with Nancy alone and it smelled like farts. She farted, ladies and gentleman. She farted!” The entire audience gasps in shock. “Disgusting, folks, disgusting.” A large grin emerges on Trump’s orange face. “Smelly Nancy! That’s her, right there, Smelly Nancy.”
Pelosi turns a shade of red that resembles a boiled lobster. She’s having a hard time keeping her breathing steady.
While Trump is beyond proud of the new nickname he came up with on the fly, fortunately, the childish moniker does not stick to Nancy Pelosi.
Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will later tell Chuck Todd on NBC, “I can say without absolute certainty the word ‘fart’ has never been used in a State of the Union address.”
An exasperated Chuck Todd responds, “Or the other f-word we heard tonight. This is simply surreal. What are we going to do?”
Using both hands, Trump takes another sip of water from the glass tumbler. “To the great African American people, I told you ‘what the hell do have to lose,’ right? Well, we’ve been working for you. Doin a lot. A lot for black people … can I say black people? Is that okay? You know my father used to call you people ‘darkies,’ can you believe that? He said some other words, too, we won’t go into that, but ‘darkies,’ can’t say that anymore, political correctness. Political correctness is really, uh, destroying … it’s really-”
The President loses his train of thought and trails off as he sees the audience murmuring and giving disgusted looks. Cameras cut to New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Senator Kamala Harris of California sitting together, both holding their hands high in the air giving Trump four middle fingers.
The crowd begins to boo. First Lady Melania Trump, her eyes welled with tears, opens her mouth slightly like a ventriloquist and boos through gritted teeth.
The President is visibly rattled. The hue on his face drains a bit to go from pumpkin to something near Creamsicle. Better play the hits. Cue up Trump’s “Free Bird.”
“We gotta have the wall! Gotta have it, folks. The wall has to be big, has to be beautiful – and there was no collusion, you know that – and the wall, you might have to see through it. Many people don’t know this, but they, the Mexican drug dealers, they take drugs, literally, and they throw it. A hundred pounds of drugs, they throw it over the wall. They throw it over the wall, and it lands and it hits somebody on the head. You don’t even know they’re there. Believe it or not, this is the kind of stuff that happens, so you have to see through the wall.”
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is shown on the TV cameras, reading a held-up copy of Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury. Warren sees the cameras are on her, she gives a sly smirk and a wink.
The next fifteen minutes of Trump’s second State of the Union speech is so scattered, so addled, so dotty, so bizarre, that I, your intrepid White House correspondent, could not bear to type the drivel verbatim. It was too soul-draining and the last two fingers of Laphroaig that could fortify my resolve has been consumed. The full transcript is online. So, the following is just a smattering of the madness that happens next.
“Little Rocket Man! What a son of a bitch! We’ll take care of him, don’t you worry. A big button, folks, a really big button is on my desk. It works, too.”
“We’re going to stop talking about this global warming bullshit. No more funding for it. I talked to Sean Hannity, he told me all the facts. It’s very, very cold outside. There’s no global warming, it’s a hoax, it’s freezing, give me a break.”
“It’s been said by many, many people that I’m sexually potent. Many Hollywood actresses, I banged them, and almost all the supermodels wanted to date Trump. Did you ever see that piece of ass Kathy Ireland? She called every day trying to date Trump.”
“Staying in the Iran deal would be the biggest mistake America has made since New Coke. Does anybody remember that? That shit was disgusting.”
“People ask me all the time, and the best hair spray is the Aqua Net SUPER HOLD in the purple can. Hard to find it nowadays with the ozone layer stuff. But if I spray it in my sealed apartment, it’s going to hurt the ozone layer? I don’t think so.”
“And this Stormy Daniels broad? Met her once. Never banged her. Didn’t happen.”
“The PGA tour wanted me bigly, many people don’t know that. Couldn’t do it. I would have been too dominant and I was building the biggest business. But golf is one of the greats. I just don’t get to play very much these days.”
“Bing-bing-bing. Bing-bing. Bing-bong-bing-bing-bing.”
“People got mad when I said ‘shithole countries,’ but come on, we all know they are shithole countries, okay?”
“I could drive at three-years-old. I won yachting races at nine. Very gifted. Very gifted, ladies and gentleman. I.Q.? 206. And that’s a conservative number, believe me.”
“I don’t really like cheeseburgers. It’s fake news. I’m losing weight and am down to 175 pounds, clearly you can see that.”
The Capitol Building is silent. California Congressman Ted Lieu has drained a flask of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum that he smuggled into the room tucked in his sock. Claire McCaskill is holding up a sign that reads “2,864,974 votes!” The exact number of votes that Trump lost the popular vote by in the 2016 election.
President Trump finished his speech with “God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.” It was the only acceptable part of the evening.
After the speech, Democrats rushed to get in front of TV cameras to condemn the President as “unhinged, dangerous, crazy, embarrassing, and a lunatic.” Bernie Sanders told Jake Tapper that Trump has “some bats in the belfry.”
Responsible Republicans rushed to get in front of TV cameras to say the speech was “disappointing, unusual, hard to explain, and alarming.”
Trump-defending, sycophantic, delusional Republicans rushed to get in front of TV cameras to say the President was “speaking to his base, using the skills that helped him beat Crooked Hillary, showing he can relate to the common man, and keeping his promise to Make America Great Again.”
In the motorcade ride back to the White House, President Trump is with his family and First Pet Titties the chimpanzee. Everyone is glum and pouting. Melania is crying softly, mascara running down her sharp cheekbones. Eric is trying to guess the passcode on his iPhone. He’s guessed nine wrong. One more wrong and he’s locked out.
Not one of the Trump clan is talking.
The President turned to the one person he knew he could count on for praise. “So, Titties, what did you think? Good show, right?”
Titties takes off her tuxedo jacket, places it over her head, turns towards the limo window, and pretends to go to sleep.
Not even the monkey could face President Trump after his first State of the Union speech.