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UVA Historians Note What to Watch During State of the Union Address

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President Trump will deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday night President Trump will deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday night
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Presidential historians at the University of Virginia's Miller Center say President Donald Trump has an opportunity to show the country he's fit for his role at his State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 30.

Presidential Studies Director Barbara Perry expects to hear plenty of positive superlatives from Trump to describe the state of the union, despite deep partisan divisions in the country. She says, however, that he has the ability to be presidential when it’s needed.

“We know his strength is the campaign style and the tweet,” says Perry. “That's what he does to reach his base, and he does that very well. What I would say to the president is be presidential - this is your opportunity to do that. Tout your successes, take us through what your agenda is for the next year or two, and do what all presidents since Reagan have done - cite heroes in the audience that you've brought to sit in the First Lady's box.”

Perry suggests closely watching the Democratic response from Congressman Joseph Kennedy III. She says this could thrust him into the spotlight for a future run for national office.