Both sides talking unity before State of the Union, but….

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – President Trump is set to give his state of the Union address tonight and many will tune in across the nation.

Groups of Democrats and Republicans are gathering tonight for watch parties as the president addresses the nation.

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It would not be hard to guess the kind of reception each group will give the Chief Executive’s remarks.

Party leaders in Hamilton county say they hope for the unity that has eluded the president and congress for months. But they also take a stand on issues like the border wall.

RACHEL CAMPBELL VICE CHAIR HAM. CO. DEM. PARTY:
“I don’t have a lot of faith towards President Trump coming to the table and working towards compromise at this point it seems, he is focused solely on what he wants, and isn’t willing to compromise with speaker Pelosi and the Democratic caucus.”

MICHELLE DEARDORFF Ph.D. DEPT. HEAD, POLITICAL SCIENCE, UTC
“It’s an important moment in our history because when you think of the symbolism of the president coming to congress to make this presentation, it’s symbolically coming before all of us.”

JEREMY STRICKLER ASST. PROF. POLITICAL SCIENCE, UTC
“He would like to get bipartisan support from the Democrats, if he doesn’t think that’s likely, it’s possible that you’ll hear him make a case for declaring a national emergency, to build the border wall.”

MARSHA YESSICK CHAIRMAN, HAM. CO. REPUBLICAN PARTY
“We need it. If we’re going to have a country, we have to have borders, and we need a secure border. And that was one of his promises he made, and one of his promises he will keep.”

DEARDORFF: “It’s actually a long form argument, and that can be useful to get at a sense of what is it the White House is projecting, what is it they want us to hear? And then what is it the Democrats would like us to understand in response. This can be useful for the American people to hear directly for themselves.”

STRICKLER:
“Anytime any president faces divided government, that is with the Democratic party or their opposition party in control of one of the branches of government, it’s going to be hard sledding for that president, to move their agenda.