Veteran journalist Dan Rather shared his analysis of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Rather covered the Watergate scandal as a White House correspondent before CBS News promoted him to “Evening News” anchor following the retirement of Walter Cronkite.
Writing on Facebook, Rather said, “This is who he is, who he was, and ever shall be.”
“President Trump may be shrouded in the power and privilege of his office but he is diminished by historic unpopularity, buffeted by scandal and struggling in the recent repudiation of the midterm election,” Rather explained.
“Much of the rhetoric tonight was expected. There was fear mongering, shallow bravado, and recurrent waves of divisiveness. That it was delivered from a teleprompter with more competence than customary does not diminish the harshness of the rhetoric,” he noted.
The legendary journalist slammed Trump for arguing against a search for the truth.
“Overshadowing the speech was a threat that, in the President’s mind, progress demands an end to investigations. If that was a trial balloon, it is one made of lead,” he predicted.
Rather wondered about the impact of the speech.
“How many even watched? Does it matter? Do we care?” he wondered.
“The President, by instinct, necessity or psychology, only knows the high stakes of doubling down no matter the hand. We’ve seen how that instinct ended up in his casino businesses. But here we have no choice but to watch him play his cards, no matter how ruinous,” he said.
“State of the Union speeches rarely last in the consciousness of the country. And one has a sense that this one is already being forgotten, or was never thought about in the first place,” Rather concluded.