With no end in sight to the partial US government shutdown, Donald Trump needed to shake things up.
So, he turned to his favourite medium — television.
Most of America's cable news networks have cut back on the President's tweets and rallies in recent months. They've run smaller snippets of meandering press conferences or surprise appearances.
But no one can ignore a prime-time Oval Office address, particularly the first from this Commander In Chief.
The broadcast on Wednesday put him in the homes of the millions of Americans who don't constantly follow the minute developments inside the Washington beltway.
The Oval Office is also a backdrop that projects power. It invokes memories of important moments in the nation's history.
John F Kennedy used it to try to calm fears during the Cuban missile crisis. It's where Richard Nixon told the nation he was resigning and was the place George W Bush announced his administration's response to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
But Mr Trump's nine-minute address is unlikely to be remembered by the nation in quite the same way.
Trump's speech struck a different tone
His most loyal supporters would have loved it. Indeed, some conservatives had called for it.
At times, the solemn and scripted speech softened some of the controversial rhetoric that's been standard at his off-the-cuff campaign rallies in recent years.
He even briefly acknowledged that thousands of migrant children have been "victims of our broken system".
"This is an humanitarian crisis. A crisis of the heart. A crisis of the soul," Mr Trump said.
His overarching message, however, was still the same: US national security depends on stopping immigrants with a wall.
"Day after day, precious lives are cut short by those who have violated our borders," he said.
"How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?"
His special address will be followed by a special visit on Thursday to the southern border. There, he'll no doubt repeat his demands for Democrats to back down and deliver the billions he wants for his border wall.
There's been speculation — some of it seemingly stoked from inside the White House — that the public events may just be a prelude to a national emergency declaration, which could pave the way for the President to redirect money from the defence budget towards building his border barrier.
Such a move would presumably negate the need for the shutdown, allowing Congress to pass bipartisan spending bills and get the Government back open after what may well turn out to be the longest such budget crisis in history.
If the President went down this path — and at this stage it's still a big if — it would be almost certain to face a legal challenge.
But even if he doesn't ultimately get the wall, Mr Trump could say to his supporters he tried.
Democrats are unmoved by 'the choice between right and wrong'
Whatever the endgame, this Oval Office speech is unlikely to have changed many minds.
Positions on the wall are entrenched.
After years of using illegal immigration as a tool to bludgeon his opponents, including some inside the Republican Party, those not already onboard with Mr Trump's policies view his claims about border security with deep scepticism.
In recent days, members of his administration have made false claims about the number of terrorists entering the country.
There were some calls to fact-check the speech live, and already the President's statistics and assertions are under scrutiny, notably his claim that Mexico would indirectly end up paying for the wall via a new trade deal.
Concerned Mr Trump would peddle mistruths, congressional Democrats demanded and were granted the right of immediate rebuttal by several networks.
New Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer laid out their case in much the same way they have before, calling the wall "inefficient and expensive".
"The symbol of America should be the statue of liberty, not a 30-foot wall," Schumer said.
Both sides see the wall as more than a steel or concrete structure.
Many Democrats claim it's a sign of the White House's "un-American" approach to immigration, which has seen families of asylum seekers separated.
Many Trump supporters believe a physical barrier sends a strong, much-needed message of deterrence to Latin American migrants — you're not welcome, so don't even try to come.
Even once the shutdown saga is ultimately resolved, this debate is likely to continue right up to the presidential election at the end of 2020.