Not 'Since the Campaign' Has Donald Trump Been So 'Outplayed by a Woman': Internet Goes Crazy After Trump Backs Off SOTU

Donald Trump SOTU address delay
President Donald Trump is pictured during a briefing in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on January 23, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Donald Trump has agreed to delay his State of the Union address, bringing to an end a week of intense politicking by the president and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The dispute—which began when Pelosi asked Trump to delay the speech given the ongoing partial government shutdown—captured the nation's attention and became illustrative of the contentious relationship between the president and the veteran Democratic lawmaker.

As speaker, Pelosi controls the proceedings of the House, meaning she can withdraw an invitation for the president to address lawmakers there. Citing security risks caused by frozen federal funds, Pelosi urged the president to delay the speech or deliver it in writing.

Trump initially refused, suggesting he would deliver the speech either in the House or at another location of his choosing. The president also canceled Pelosi's scheduled trip to Afghanistan just minutes before the delegation was set to leave, calling on the speaker to remain in Washington and negotiate to end the shutdown.

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Trump relented on Wednesday. "As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address," he wrote on Twitter. "I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date.

"This is her prerogative—I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over. I am not looking for an alternative venue for the SOTU Address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber. I look forward to giving a 'great' State of the Union Address in the near future!"

At a press briefing, the president blamed the opposition for the delay. "I'm not surprised. It's really a shame what's happening with the Democrats. They've become radicalized."

Following Trump's decision to back down, journalists and commentators took to Twitter to laud what they described as a political masterclass by Pelosi.

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New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman—considered one of the best-connected journalists in Washington—wrote, "Can't think of another time since the campaign when he has had to publicly be outplayed by a woman."

Comedian Kathy Griffin—who was lambasted in 2017 for posing with a mock-up of Trump's decapitated head—simply wrote, "So what you're saying is…NANCY PELOSI WON."

Liberal pundit Charles Pierce also revelled in the perceived failure of the president, who regularly boasts of his supposed deal-making skills. "Folding like the cheapest of suits," Pierce wrote.

Political analyst Jeff Greenfield took a more thoughtful approach, asking, "How will this play with the mlitant Trumpists who were rging him to stand up to Pelosi? How does he react when he read, sees, and hears al the commentry saying 'Trump blinks' when he sees life as a zero-sum-I-win-you-lose contest?"

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham—a prominent Trump ally—described the postponement as "absurd, petty, and shameful."

He wrote on Twitter, "It is an important piece of our history and government…. Speaker Pelosi's decision to ignore this long-standing American tradition is absurd, petty, and shameful. The judgement of history will NOT be kind."

For right-wing firebrand Ann Coulter, the debate over the address is distracting from the real issue, the one that led to the shutdown in the first place—Trump's proposed wall along the southern border.

"I couldn't care less about when Trump gives the SOTU address," she wrote. "JUST BUILD THE WALL! BREAK GROUND NOW!"

Not 'Since the Campaign' Has Donald Trump Been So 'Outplayed by a Woman': Internet Goes Crazy After Trump Backs Off SOTU | U.S.