"There was a sense, with Democrats having swept into control of the House and opponents lining up to run in 2020, that the president was no longer the sole focus of the show," James Poniewozik said of the president's State of the Union address. "Having served, since announcing his campaign in 2015, as the norm-breaking antihero protagonist of America’s political TV serial, he now had to share billing with a vast ensemble of co-stars. There was, of course, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the ubiquitous new representative from Queens, doing interviews before the speech on CNN and after it on NBC. There was a house full of adversaries and potential opponents in the room, as the cameras darted from face to face to catch the reactions of Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and more...For the former TV host, it was perhaps the old showman’s trick of seeking to hang onto the spotlight by ceding it. For them, it was a chance to emphasize that this new face of the Congress likely would not be there, if not in reaction to Donald Trump. It was the one point in the State of the Union on which he and they could all agree to give him credit."