Press Room

What Kind of Presidential Rhetoric Will We See in Trump’s First State of the Union?

January 25, 2018
Experts Available
Government, Political

After a controversial and chaotic first year in office, how will President Donald Trump address Congress and the nation in his first State of the Union (SOTU)? The President is sure to touch on such current hot button topics as the government shutdown; DACA, border security, and immigration; tax reform; health care; and the opioid crisis. Other potential topics could include the current investigation into Russian meddling in the election, government deregulation, and the ongoing tensions with North Korea.

Three political Communication scholars who specialize in presidential rhetoric and public address are available for insight before and after the speech to examine President Trump’s tone and style, his framing of complex and divisive issues, and his vision for 2018. 


Mary Stuckey, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication Arts & Sciences, Penn State University

Mary Stuckey’s research specializes in political and presidential rhetoric and political communication. She is editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech, and is currently co-editor (with Mitchell McKinney) of the series, The Frontiers of Political Communication. Her current book project is on the rhetoric of political change.

Mitchell McKinney, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Communication, Director of the Political Communication Institute, University of Missouri

Mitchell McKinney’s research interests include presidential debates, political campaigns, civic engagement, media and politics, and presidential rhetoric. He is the co-author/editor of seven books, including alieNATION: The Divide and Conquer Election of 2012 (with Bystrom, Tedesco, & Banwart), Communication in the 2008 U.S. Election: Digital Natives Elect a President (with Banwart), and Communicating Politics: Engaging the Public in Democratic Life (with Kaid, Bystrom, & Carlin).

J. David Cisneros, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Illinois

David Cisneros’ research focuses on the ways in which social and political identities are rhetorically constructed and contested in the public sphere, specifically democracy and citizenship, race/ethnicity, social movements, and immigration. His research has appeared in such journals as Rhetoric & Public AffairsArgumentation & Advocacy, the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, and the Quarterly Journal of Speech.


To schedule an interview with any of these experts, please contact Jenna Sauber at or 202-534-1104.

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