Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=199111
Story Retrieval Date: 12/20/2014 5:01:30 PM CST

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Dana Ballout/MEDILL

Those who watched the State of Union address described Obama's speech as successful and powerful. However, many chose not watch -- expressing frustration with political rhetoric.


State of the reaction: Hometown crowd roots for hometown guy

by Dana Ballout
Jan 25, 2012


On a scale of 1-10, most Chicagoans rate President Obama’s State of the Union address an 8. The most appealing parts of his one-hour speech were about uniting the country over national concerns, bolstering the economy and education reform, said many Chicagoans.

“I thought it was a very thoughtful speech,” said Ted Wolff. “I loved the formulation starting with the foreign policy triumphs and the central part all about the domestic policies, challenging Republicans to work with him -- I thought showing a willingness to reach and agree on certain smaller measures.”

“I worship the ground he walks on,” Wolff added.

However, Obama's approval ratings in Illinois are not what they used to be in 2008. According to a Gallup poll, Obama’s overall approval ratings in Illinois dropped almost 12 percent from 2009 to 2010. State-specific ratings for overall performance in 2011 aren’t yet available.

“At this point it’s the lesser of two evils,” said Sara Jordan, who decided not to watch the speech. “With the Republican and Democrats, I’m just kinda done. I don’t care anymore.”

Following the speech, Politico prompted Twitter users to rate the SOTU address by tweeting their votes to #ratetheSOTU.

“I give Obama an 8. No speech that trumpets American exceptionism is an A in my book, but I like the highlighting of strengths,” tweeted Mikhail Lyubansky, a University of Illinois professor.

Chicago resident Joash Mencias also expressed approval in his tweets, giving the president’s speech a 9.

A Facebook poll, also created by Politico, shows a majority of viewers thought “it was great.”