Trump's speech was chalk and cheese

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Media captionTrump vows 'renewal of American spirit'

Washington's big night of pomp and politics - and from the fledgling president a disciplined performance and a well-crafted speech.

From the get-go it was clear this was going to be something different.

Having been chided for his seeming unwillingness to speak out about recent anti-Semitic attacks and the gunning down of two Indian engineers in Kansas, this was the first topic he addressed.

As he waited to leave the White House to come to Congress, TV cameras caught him rehearsing his speech in the back of the presidential limousine.

And when you're saying something new, you need to practise. This was optimistic, warm, devoid of personal attacks. And forget the isolationist rhetoric - this was America in the world.

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Media captionCarryn Owens, the widow of fallen Navy Seal, Ryan Owens, was brought to tears

But it wasn't all songs from the new album. He played some of his more familiar audience favourites.

Even here this came with talk that real immigration reform was possible.

Earlier in the day he'd alluded to introducing measures that would give a pathway to allow illegal immigrants to be able to stay. And the biggest cheer from the Republican side came with his promise to reform Obamacare.

Though again detail is scant of what the new health policy will look like. He called repeatedly for Democrats and Republicans to work together.

And for the European audience there would have been delight that he spoke so positively about Nato, a body he'd previously dismissed as obsolete.

And then a line that caused Democrats to laugh derisively. He said it was time to put "trivial fights" behind us.

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Media captionPresident Trump: 'real and positive immigration reform is possible'

This from the man who's gone to war on Twitter in recent weeks with judges, Meryl Streep, a clothing chain that stopped stocking his daughter's fashion line, the size of his inauguration crowd, and his refusal to accept he lost the popular vote. But he didn't react and he didn't lose his stride.

How the Republicans in Congress cheered.

Maybe an exam question will be set in the future to compare and contrast the inaugural address from a month ago - with all its darkness and talk of carnage - to last night's speech to the joint session of Congress.

The essay might only require three words.

Chalk and cheese.