On Tuesday evening, President Trump will address the nation in his first official State of the Union address. The annual speech will be televised live from the House chamber, where Trump is set to deliver his address flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Daughter and adviser to the president Ivanka Trump is also expected to attend Trump's SOTU. In the tradition of past presidential families, and especially considering her role as advisor, she will likely be sitting with her siblings and First Lady Melania Trump somewhere in the balcony.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders seemed to confirm her attendance earlier in the week, saying: “All of the president’s children, along with the first lady, will be at the State of the Union, with the exclusion of Barron. I don’t believe he will be attending as of right now."
As is D.C.'s custom, this year's SOTU speech is being harnessed by both parties for its political purchase. Trump is expected to tout a strong economy and the recently passed GOP tax reform.
Of course, Democrats have their own agenda for Trump's 2018 SOTU speech. A handful of House representatives have already announced they will not attend the speech, following Trump's widely publicized remarks referring to El Salvador, Haiti, and several African nations as "sh*thole countries."
But those Democrats in attendance might pose an even bigger boondoggle for Trump. Some female elected officials are planning on bringing prominent activists from the "Me Too" movement as their guests.
Ivanka Trump has expressed support for the "Me Too" movement, but she hasn't exactly been welcomed into the fold with open arms. Following what many hailed as a powerful speech for change by Oprah Winfrey at the 2018 Golden Globe awards, Ivanka Trump tweeted, “Just saw @Oprah’s empowering & inspiring speech at last night’s#GoldenGlobes,. Let’s all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP! #United.”
It's a sentiment that many found puzzling, given Ivanka Trump's proximity to and support of Trump himself: The recent deluge of allegations of sexual misconduct has felled dozens of powerful men. Notably not among them is Trump, who has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual harassment or misconduct. Trump has denied all such claims. Given her unwavering support of her father, feminist leaders by and large are not interested in Ivanka Trump's backing.
Traditionally, the annual presidential speech has been a powerful tool for the sitting POTUS to highlight previous wins and outline a vision for the year ahead.