After an intensely divisive start to the year with the government shutdown, Donald Trump attempted to strike a more unifying tone in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Yet the prospects for policy progress remain as remote as they were before Donald Trump stood up to give his speech. There will be a summit with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February in Vietnam. But on the key area of Mr Trump's border wall, there is no sign of a breakthrough in Congress and no concrete proposal from Donald Trump on that score.
In addition, Mr Trump mentioned infrastructure. This has been a reliable standby for the president. He mentioned it through the campaign and in previous State of the Union addresses. However, there were no detailed sums from the president and no detailed policy proposals even though this is an area where there could be some unity of purpose between Democrats and Republicans.
Meanwhile, the divisiveness of Mr Trump's rhetoric on immigration was one of the abiding impressions of the speech on Tuesday night. So even if there was a softer tone from the president, it is unlikely to bridge the yawning divide that continues to run through Washington politics. Sam Fleming, Financial Times, Washington DC.