Crowd Turns Out For State of the Union
Several Democratic Party organizations held a State of the Union party at Durty Nellie's Tuesday, Jan. 25.
A crowd of about 150 filled Durty Nellie's Tuesday night.
Unlike most evenings the attraction was not a rock band, but President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. The crowd watched the address on huge screens and cheered when the the speech struck a chord. The State of the Union party was sponsored by several Democratic organizations.
"I liked that the tone wasn't partisan," said 50-year-old Palatine resident Merri Bizjack. "I consider myself a centrist. I wish people would see that that's who he is. He is very practical and pragmatic."
Obama began by addressing the shooting in Tuscon, Ariz., in which six people were killed and 13 injured. Among the wounded was Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Obama said that Republicans and Democrats were a part of something much greater than party or political preference and that to accomplish anything in the next two years Democrats and Republicans would have to work together.
The president also laid out his agenda for the nation, proposing investments in infrastructure, technology and education, while proposing the elimination of subsidies for oil companies.
"Instead of subsidizing the energy of yesterday, let's invest in the energy of tomorrow," Obama said.
Republican 8th District Congressman Joe Walsh, in an interview with MSNBC after the speech, expressed disappointment with the president's remarks and concern with the budget deficit.
"This was my first state of the union," said Walsh, whose congressinal district includes Palatine. "And I got to be honest with you, I was excited going in. I left that chamber with a real empty feeling in my stomach because there was such a disconnect between what the president was talking about and where this country is at right now."
Among the other topics covered in Obama's wide ranging speech, was the need for immigration reform. On education the president said he wanted to replace No Child Left Behind with new education reform. Obama specifically cited Race to the Top as an example.
"I thought it was smart and strongly bipartisan," said 53-year-old Palatine resident Mary Keehn. "It was bolder than I thought it would be."
Terry Blaurock, 74, of Northbrook, said she wanted to hear more from the president on foreign policy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I think it was a good job, I do have reservations about [what he said about] Afghanistan," she said. "I thought he glossed over it."