What’s your reaction to the President’s State of the Union address?

Last night, President Obama addressed the nation and laid out his agenda, including plans for cutting the deficit and boosting job creation. Today’s Question: What was your reaction to the President’s speech?

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  • Clark

    Obama is still clueless!! Yes, leave the plans for economic growth in the hands of far left democrats, pelosi, waxman, miller, who have no idea how a small or large business operates.

    All they understand is how to tax and redistribute income and wealth from the wealth creators to the unions and other supporters of hard left policies.

    We are in BIG trouble and Obama will fail.

    As long as the far left punish success and reward failure, the economy is doomed!

  • Phil Asgian

    Both the President’s speech and the Republican response to it, highlight the largest deficit on the political landscape today – a lack of choice. Restricting America to only two political parties has not worked. It is time to use anti-trust legislation to break up both political parties into at least 2 and possibly 3 parties each. The Constitution was designed to promote freedom – clearly a concept neither major political party supports.

  • I was surprised to hear the President slap both the Senate and the Supreme Court. I cannot recall a previous SOTU speech where the President took to task both of the other branches of government as Obama did.

  • Steven

    This question is a Rorschach test. The way one answers says more about oneself than about the speech.

    Politics is supposed to be about the peaceful resolution of conflicting interests. This requires respectful dialog and an openness to learning from folks with other opinions. Many of the responses to Obama’s speech I’ve heard so far show that American political discourse has devolved into a full-contact team sport, where the struggle to defeat the other side takes priority over truth, justice and the common good.

    My impression is that Obama gets this, and he’s being stymied by staunch ideologues on both sides. We need to learn to treat politics less like a football game with winners and losers, and more like a moon shot where we all win or lose together.

  • Brian F

    I didn’t watch the speech, & don’t have that much interest in it. In itself, it is not an event that has any specific tangible outcomes. These annual addresses are primarily about politics, and they provide little more than an opportunity for both parties to demonstrate their partisan attitudes and behavior.

    I would like to add that I appreciate thoughtful responses like Steven’s, and am thoroughly frustrated with people who make arguments like Clark’s, wherein they make assertions without providing supporting logic or evidence. These statements are typically based on an emotionally and/or morally black-and-white view of the world, complete with buzzwords, talking points, predictions of doom, ALL CAPS, and exclamation points. While they may have something to say, they don’t express it in a way that contributes to a meaningful dialogue.

  • JO

    What I heard was a reminder to those Americans (and members of Congress) who seem to have short attention spans, that the President did come into office with the budget deficit nearing $1 trillion already and for Republicans to all of a sudden become “fiscally conservative,” after 8 years of Bush and the making of that $1trillion deficit, is a joke.

  • Garyf

    Well, the bloom is off the rose.

    With the backdoor deals, lack of transparency, and the fear tactics, and the “hurry up, don’t read the bill, and the sky will fall if you don’t vote on it now” crap, I just can’t take him seriously anymore.

    It’s gonna be a long 3 years.

    I’m glad that the Obama Marxism Express, was derailed!

  • Barbara

    After one year in office and his first State of the Union Address, in listening to you and one of your guests, it would appear that this was his last State of the Union Address and he accomplished nothing during his four years. He is held to a much higher standard than his predecessors. He came in with a big mess, and you think he has a magic wand and everyone will have jobs, health care, the economy is booming. He stated when he was running that (1) he will make mistakes (2) 4 years may not be enough to get this country out of the mess it has been in (which the Republicans was responsible for ). We have a “just say no” group called Republicans who do not have the interest of this country or its citizens, but rather focusing on winning elections. It’s unfortunate, because the same people who will put them in office, claiming they want government out of their lives, are the same one who will whine about why doesn’t the government do something.

  • Garyf

    I can’t remember the source…

    Obama claiming to freeze spending is like Madonna now promoting chastity!

  • Erik

    Overall, I was a little disappointed in what seemed to be moments where President Obama found himself participating in traditional political banter. In my opinion it degraded and undermined his more important message, that is to transcend the political stagnation and go to work for the American people when they need it most.

  • Garyf
  • Comments texted to MPR:

    Obama impresses me with his mature, articulate, at ease leadership. He was honest and took the high road – not giving us more divisive politics as usual. He admitted his mistakes and gave us a path to the future. It was a home run! -Gerry Tyrrell, Minneapolis

    State of the Union was smart, optimistic, and forward-thinking. I feel better about our government than I have in months! -Ashely, St. Paul

    Epic speech! Save one moment when not one member of Congress applauded the removal of powerful lobby groups from our hallowed halls. -Josh, Minneapolis

    I’m in love with Barack Obama! He moved me to laughter, nearly to tears, and gave me goosebumps all of which are re-inspiring my faith in America! He makes me feel positive about where our country is going in 2010. -Jen, Northfield

    I have never heard a bigger no content blame fest, We were offered Hope, hope that Obama will someday do something. -Paul, Willmar

    I liked how he admonished congress to do what’s right rather than running for reelection. -Cyn, Edina

    Where is North Korea, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela for Haiti or other disasters? Why is it always the U.S. and our partners? What is president doing for that? -Paul, Isanti

    The “deficit of trust” is between the American people and the Obama administration. -Owen Riess, Eden Prairie

    Politics as usual. Nothing’s going to change. Big deficit and No health care, it is what it is. -Josh, New Hope

    I like that he called out both parties to work together – particularly the Republicans who have been so obstructionist. -anonymous

    The President’s unabashed attack on the Supreme Court and the first amendment was bad form. It reinforced the importance of the concept of balance of power. -anonymous

  • Patrick

    Obama should now be aware of the public’s miniscule attention span, hypocritical lifestyle, dog-eat-dog ethics, opportunistic mentallity, artificial New Age virtue, and cry-baby disposition.

    Such a waste of a decent man.

  • Jessica Sundheim

    I’m usually a radio girl, listening to public addresses on MPR because I can hear everything clearly. However, I’m glad I watched the speech last night. It was wonderful to see my fellow Democrats rise out of their seats in support of lowering the deficit by a Trillion dollars, competing with China and others for clean energy and middle class tax cuts, while Republicans sat there unable to bring themselves to stand up and clap for the idea that they are there to serve their constituents. That is the visual that is burned into memory and it that is what centrist voters, who are sick of politics standing in the way of progress are going to remember in this year’s election. The Republicans are hanging themselves on the same rope the Democrats used in ’04.

  • Peggy

    I thought the speech was awesom! Even if you don’t agree with the President’s policies, there’s no denying that he’s smart (what a concept to have someone smarter than the average American running our country!), knows what he speaks of and is trying to do what he feels is best for the country. I’m so tired of the politics both sides play. My wish is that they both would heed the president’s calling!! Maybe in another world!

  • James

    I’m as mad as HELL — And I’m not going to take it anymore!

    DTOM

  • Leeann

    I think that he told it like it is…If there is no team work, we will stay in the mess that we are in. This country can not be fixed by one party. And if the big heads in DC can’t see that, the President will fail…no matter who it is.

    It makes me sick to watch all the head shaking and posturing during the speech. The elected body was so busy texting there constituents I don’t know how they could have listened to the President. A rather rude bunch…

  • Paul

    I really appreciated the president’s remarks on the responsibilities of both parties. He is exactly right: The Democrats still have a large majority in both houses, and I expect them to actually solve problems.

    And if the Republicans want to participate, they should not participate just by blocking every single thing the president wants no matter how large or how small, but should propose realistic compromises and then _actually vote for them_.

  • Amy

    Obama did and said exactly what I thought he’d say-same old status quo ideology that he so contradicts himself as being against. “Clean energy” means more nuclear plants, offshore drilling and this new magical fuel -“Clean Coal”, the three (minus tar sands) most polluting forms of energy we have today. I didn’t hear wind, solar, or hydro power at all.

    I was also quite shocked to be watching the first black President in our history say we are “a nation of immigrants”. That seemed like a slap in the face to the millions of African Americans here today who had nothing to do with any consensual immigration.

    Obama FAILED again to deliver the “change we can believe in”. He’s more Bush than he’d ever admit to.

  • Andrea

    Obama is brilliant. He has integrity. He plays fair. He is young, dynamic, forward-looking. He is pragmatic and brims with solutions, not political ideology. We should forget the tired old labels of Republican and Democrat and work together for our common good.

  • Kirk

    The best part was when he took to task the Supreme Court “Justice”s who put our government up for bids to big money, and foreign entities.

  • Jamie

    “…the struggle to defeat the other side takes priority over truth, justice and the common good.”

    “…stymied by staunch ideologues on both sides.”

    I get very frustrated when I read things like this. Republicans are the ones who want to annihilate anyone, any party, who doesn’t agree with them (and they’re often mean-spirited about it). I’ve never heard a Democrat talk about aspirations like the Republicans’ dream of a permanent conservative majority, for example. Republicans want bi-partisanship only when they don’t hold the majority. Democrats often work for it whether they’re in the majority or the minority. And it’s the Democrats who almost always have to do the compromising.

    News media pundits and Republicans and even some Democrats make it sound like the two parties are equally responsible for the lack of bi-partisanship. They’re so not.

    On another note, so-called back-room deals are an integral part of politics. And I know of only one deal of any consequence, not back-room, but public, that was made in the course of coming up with the Senate’s health care reform bill. Republicans and pundits keep saying “all the back-room deals” as though there were many and as though they don’t happen all the time.

    I’m glad Obama talked about Republicans’ obstruction. I wish he had hit them even harder.

  • Dave

    Point of order: I think some folks are confusing “bipartisanship” with “Republican unilateral, condition-less concession on health care reform.” I don’t know how they can concede when they fundamentally believe that the Democratic health care bills that have been put forward are not in the best interest of this country or on the side of the “common good.”

    I applaud President Obama’s remarks, if very brief, on the need to build new fleet of nukes, drill offshore, and replace aging coal plants with cleaner and more efficient units like Oak Creek. Renewables are happening, and must happen by law. Where we need strong executive leadership right now is on base load thermal plants (and on the new transmission lines necessary to connect all that wind to market).

  • jack Goldman

    Obama never mentioned the Dow is at the same price it was in 1964 measured with real 1964 silver money not fake US Federal Reserve Notes. He never mentioned a gallon of gasoline is still one legal US silver quarter, the same as it was in 1964. He never mentioned last years debt increase was larger than the entire US income tax, of one trillion in taxes but also one trillion in debt added. We are headed for bankruptcy with a $12 Trillion debt.

    We are fundamentally bankrupt. We just finished the worst decade for stocks in history, including the Great Depression. Sadly, the US Fed controls and owns our nation. We are in deep trouble. The Government must be reduced by 50% in size and budget. There will be blood.

    Jack Goldman, St. Paul, MN

  • Jack Goldman

    His Secretary of State said it best. What can Obama do? He can give a good speech. We don’t need speeches or excitement or touchy feely inclusion and embracing diversity. America needs the jobs that were exported to China to wipe out white Christian male living wage jobs. There are too many women and minorities fake service sector jobs. The government needs to do what they did to GM. The government needs to be bankrupted, cut down by 50%, unions broken, fat cut, subsidies to Israel ended, wars ended, and get back on track to doing what is good for Americans, instead of what is good for Hebrew and English banks in New York City.

    Where is oversight for Facebook, Amazon, Wikipedia, Google, and Twitter, all Hebrew owned multi billion dollar companies while GM is bankrupted. The FAWG internet companies are parasites, just like all government employees. We are bleeding to death.

  • Julia W Robinson

    Obama did an excellent job of putting himself back on track by reminding us of what he faced when he arrived on the scene, by demonstrating what he has accomplished and by clearly stating what problems he still needs to address. He was realistic in pointing out the problems with the gridlock, and was effective in scolding the legislators for not cooperating.

    I hope this will be some incentive for the Republicans and Democrats of the House and Senate to work together, but I fear they are too entrenched. I wish he, or someone else had a real solution to that essential problem. It is so obvious that cooperation is necessary. We need people courageous enough to help their constituents by legislating and voting their conscience rather than their party..

  • Steven

    Like I said, it’s a Rorschach test.

    One of Bush’s numerous mistakes was that he listened to his neo-con base when they urged him not to give an inch to the “liberals” but to press ahead full speed with their ideologica agenda. He was much more moderate as Texas governer than he was as president. After he became president, his base told him, essentially, “Sic ’em!” And he did. Some of Obama’s critics on the left appear to be telling him the same thing. So far, he has declined to take that advice, which pleases me greatly.

    Left-wing ideologues are just as capable of falling into a win/lose mentality as the right-wing. I distinctly remember how the Democrats sabotaged Papa Bush’s presidency by declaring every single one if his initiatives and budget proposals “dead on arrival” and then complaining that he was ineffective and did nothing to help the economy. Maybe the Republicans are doing it more skillfully now than the Democrats were then, but it’s the same thing.

    Just call me a knee-jerk moderate.

  • tom

    The left wing and their leader, Obama have failed miserably in their first year. Our country is weaker and has lost its confidence since he has been in office. Idiotic and sloppy security execution and policies (close Gitmo – give enemy combatants US legal rights) along with simpleton approaches to our threats like Iran, are embarassing.

    Naive, arrogant and caustic last night, Obama’s attitude and policies mirror a far left agenda that doesn’t make sense and won’t work. As a pro-choice independent moderate, I was offended by many of his remarks last night.

    Obama had a chance to make a sincere move to the center. He failed last night. How can you blame a minority party, the GOP, from blocking his major policies? If everything was so good in health care and a crippling energy policy, the Democrats could have easily passed everything. His mistake is not in communications, but HIS POLICIES! With Democrats in control of both houses, if the policies were good, they could have easily passed them. The Left Wing policies are bad and there is still enough common sense in the Dems to make sure these mistakes did not go through! We were just lucky this time!

  • bill

    I want so much to like Pres. Obama but I cringe every time when uses the word “I” rather than “we” or “my administration”.

    Second, I was shocked he lashed out at the Supremes regarding campaign financing. This comes from the fellow who went back on his word to take public financing and resources numerous donations from overseas.

    Finally, he says he’s removing troops from Iraq. I thought it was since our armed services won the war through their intelligence and sacrifice. Another “I”. This time taking credit for the sacrifices of others.

    Sigh.

  • Tom Noerper

    I thought it was a masterful speech.

    I am impressed in the way that he went beyond stale rhetoric, and earnestly addressed the members of Congress: he challenged Democrats to vote for the greater good, even at political risk; he confronted Republicans for voting against everything, regardless of its merit, in their attempts to harm him politically.

    I was sorry to hear him support the fallacy of “clean coal,” which means the destruction of large parts of the Appalachian mountains.

    I’m afraid the whole thing may be kind of a fantasy, though – that the content of his speeches is pretty far removed from the actual political process, in which politicians of both parties are primarily the custodians of corporate interests.

  • Donald A. Miller, Sr., USA Retired

    Its sad that this generation has been taught to be so ignorant of politics and National Life that they

    fail to recognize the Constitution as the Supreme

    Law of the land and that (Mr)(non citizen) Obomber and all his ilk are violating Federal Law

    with TARP, The health care non-reform and the non-stimulous package.

  • Tony

    President Obama almost always gives a fantastic speech, but this was a mixed bag.

    I think that, no matter what he says in a speech, he didn’t achieve his top domestic priority for Year One, and Republicans will construe that as victory and vindication of their opposition-to-everything-all-the-time-at-all-costs policies.

    I fear it will lead to more paralysis as democrats continue to argue amongst themselves in fear of the bullies in the Republican party.

    I think the President was right that the country has a credibility gap between citizens and government in general.

    I think he was right to scold the Supreme Court for their decision to strike down the corporate campaign cash law.

    More important, I think he was right to scold the Republican leadership for their opposition. The has become somewhat stereotyped as “the party of NO.” I think they’ve foolishly earned that unattractive stereotype. Republicans all-too-often seem like naughty kids who will be oppositional/defiant no matter what.

    I think he does well to remind the nation that he inhereted a disastrous situation brought about by many years of failed Republican policies; many are so anxious for the President to un-do the damage the GOP’s policies have done they may become too-easily disillusioned when it doesn’t happen fast. The reality is that our recent economic problems were caused by cutting taxes for the wealthy and decreasing corporate regulations.

    I also think health care is a problem, but nowhere near as big a problem as unemployment and underemployment. I was disheartened to see so much focus last year on health care and so little focus on jobs.

    Deficits are a problem too, but so are overcrowded classrooms. Halting all government spending except for Medicare, Social Security and Defense won’t help employ the many out-of-work teachers we have, and it won’t solve classroom over-crowding or false grail of test scores.

    What might have been a good idea is some kind of selective service that includes a broad range of civilian applications, and maybe more. Something that gives people a job doing something that needs to be done.

    Watch for political polarization to increase at a faster rate in Year Two.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Miranda warning for politicians: You have no right to remain silent. Anything you say or don’t say can and will be taken out of context, distorted, deliberately misconstrued and used against you.

  • Terence

    The stand and clap format of the State of the Union is so vain and tribal as a ritual , that it’s actually beneath Obama’s vision for this country, i.e. the adoption of ideas on merit, necessity, and cost effectiveness…

    What if a non-elected speaker with nothing to lose, could take the podium to summarize why the out of control Big Bank risk spreading debt balloon economy crashed the way it did…could the whole Nation of Americans handle hearing at once that low interest reckless mortgage lending and credit card debt has exhausted available capital for real wealth producers in the material economy…yes there’s still a few of us left.

  • Darryl Carter

    As usual, the President’s delivery was world-class.

    His embrace of nuclear power was refreshing, though his administration’s (final?) abandonment of Yucca Mountain, with no alternative in sight, is disappointing. How many more casks, before Red Wing glows red?

    The President’s enumerating a laundry list of tax breaks and other expenditures, with very little in the way of off-setting income, was a disappointment.

    The best jobs we can create, are those which construct “gifts which keep on giving”: new transmission lines, to carry prairie winds kilowatts to population centers; and high-speed passenger rail lines, to decongest our airports and skies. Both would clean our air, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and improve our balance of payments.

    Perhaps most importantly, I would like to see a leader who will channel Teddy “Trust-Buster” Roosevelt, declare that NO business is too big to fail, and start busting up the behemoths as was done so long ago with Standard Oil and U.S. Steel.