Still, Tuesday night was the new president’s first address to a joint session of Congress. This week I asked readers if they watched the address – and if they tuned in for the Republican response.
Nearly half – 45.5% – of this week’s respondents didn’t watch the President’s address, though 36.4% did, and 15.9% said they watched some of it. The remaining 2.3% said “it was on”, suggesting that they weren’t really paying attention (doubtless among those was the reader who observed, “If President Obama had walked in at 9 o’clock and not a standing ovation ever 2 seconds, I could have watched all of it. But kids had to be put to bed.”
As for hanging around for the Republican response (this time offered by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal), most ( 69.3% ) didn’t, though 17% did, and another 10% said they watched some of it, and the rest fell into the “it was on” category.
There were plenty of verbatims - both those who were impressed by, and agreed with the President - and those who didn't believe a word he said. And as for Governor Jindal - well, the perspectives were mixed there as well.
I'm not going to wade into it any deeper. On the pages that follow I've posted a sampling of the verbatims for you to enjoy at your leisure, and I hope you do. Just be aware that if you have strong feelings for either side, there may well be opinions expressed that - well, you might prefer not to read...so, proceed with "caution."
Thanks to everyone who participated in our bonus survey!
|I couldn't watch all of Jindal's response. He seemed too young and amateurish compared to Obama's speech-making abilities.|
|I didn't hear much crying from the Republicans when they voted for the first Bush stimulus plan. NOW they want fiscal responsibility!|
|Got bored with Jindal's response and turned it off.|
|I read the text on-line. Very ambitious - perhaps he's using the "aim for the stars, hit the moon" philosophy.|
|If you consider the content of the speeches it seemed more like Obama was responding to Jindal than the other way around. Jindal used all of the Republican talking points, and Obama made a point in his speech of addressing those points.|
|I appreciate President Obama giving specific examples when he discussed what the stimulus bill will do or how exactly it will help those businesses and/or individuals. I want Congress and the White House to know that I get real tired of the political run around. Personally, my family and I are doing okay in this economy, but I know others who are not and it does concern me.|
|Agree with him or not, Obama is a good, clear speaker. He needed a Kennedy-style "man on the moon" attitude, and he did a good job, while making it clear that everyone's input is needed and wanted to get out of this mess. Personally, I think that was aimed more at the Democratic leadership than the Republicans, since Nancy Pelosi is not a "welcoming" figure. I'm a Democrat, and her methods do not sit well with me.|
|Talk, Talk, Talk, hooray, good news... Now let's see the plan in action (Really thinking - graon- this is gonna give me a heck of a lot of paperwork to complete)|
|Obama's speech - what was the point? Did he just need to hear some cheering? Jindal's response - very professional; pleased with the response.|
|Not much of a response.|
|Words, words, words... make it happen!|
|I fell asleep watching the address, so apparently it wasn't that interesting to me.|
|I'm sorry I missed Jindal.|
|Gov. Jindal should have pointed out specific points of the stimulus such as requiring states that accept unemployment stimulus funds to permanently change their law to allow people to collect unemployment benefits after as little as 3 months of work.|
|I just can't bear to watch the Presidential addresses no matter who is president. I'd rather read about it online the next day. There is just too much applauding to keep my attention.|
|It's a good thing for the Governor to get some practice speaking before a TV audience, especially since he needs to improve if he's ever going to move to a national stage. The President is good at saying what people want/need to hear but I wonder how well he'll do at reining in the Congress and all their spending. As with anything (like a job description), the devil is in the details.|
|The president truly frightens me. As I was when as I watched the election results come in, I remain very, very afraid for the future direction of our country.|
|I figured there would be plenty of opportunity to hear, ad nauseum, what he said and what everyone thinks. My test - how does the stock market do today. Tired of the rhetoric, tired of the constant birage of the sky is falling, even it is. Our leaders need to lead not ring their hands. We all know we are in a crisis. Now let's talk about moving forward, do what's necessary to instill confidence. While much of this "crisis" is very real, some of it, I believe, had been made worse by the constant focus on how terrible things are. Everything the President said that might have been good will probably be destroyed by the naysayers and political analysts and news reporters who make their money and their living keeping us focused on the problems. I'm tired. Very tired.|
|I fell asleep|
|I felt it was kind of a yawner with lots of grand statements but no specifics. I was too tired to stay up for Gov. Jindal's response, but I agree with what I heard this morning -- that it's wrong to sell out our children for a brief snippet of the present. And, of course, Joe Biden fired back with, "Well, would you let your parents starve?" Strangely, I've not seen anyone starving.|
|It seems to me that the Republicans don't like to spend money, they like to save money- other people's money. They don't mind if other people are not making money, losing their jobs, or paying thru their noses for gas, autos, homes, food, etc. as long as they don't have to subsidize the expenses. Bush said it best when he congratulated the oil company for the exceptional year they had (a few years back). He thought it was great that they had such a profit, but that profit was due to the cost we were paying at the pump. I also think that both parties need to set aside their differences, and listen to their constituents. Get rid of the special projects they all put into the bills they pass, take responsibility for their position, and govern with integrety and honesty. Put their feet in our shoes and they'd make different choices than the ones they are making.|
|for the country's sake, we need to start working together, Democrats and Republicans, workers and management, wealthy and not-so-much, bankers and borrowers, instead of always trying to use the economic crisis to better an individual position.|
|Yes, there are job descriptions, but they are living breathing (i.e. ever-changing) documents, made so by the upfront statement that says "Job duties and responsibilities include, but 'are not limited to' the following.....". That "but not limited to" catch means that you are supposed to do whatever comes your way. The is no such thing as something that "is not my job".|
|Jindal was unbelievably weak, as is the GOP right now. Their ideology is DOA. Obama is a very gifted politician - It is a joy, after the last 8 years, to listen to him speak.|
|The President accepted the grim responsibility of the current crisis and asked the American people to do the same. He also offered bold and concrete objectives for the future. The Governor, however, seemed to be in a state of denial.|
|If President Obama had walked in at 9 o'clock and not a standing ovation ever 2 seconds, I could have watched all of it. But kids had to be put to bed|
|It's nice to have a President who can articulate from the bully pulpit after George W.. He's one hell of a speaker but I just don't buy what he is trying to sell. More government has never been the answer to our problems so I'm not sure what he is citing when he refers to history.|
|Watch Obama's address?! HA! If I want to see how bad it is out there, I'll open a window. I don't need the President to continually remind me.|
|Many money managers are telling people to tighten their belt, pay off your credit cards, save, save, save, live within your means. All of that makes sense to me. And yet our government has added more than $1,500,000,000,000 (that's 1.5 TRILLION dollars) to the national deficit in the last six months through stimulus packages alone (one by W. for over $700,000,000 and another by Pres. Obama for over $800,000,000) not including the budget deficit. Throwing a mountain of money at the problem will not fix it. I am not an economist but even I understand this is a short term stop gap not a solution. The budget must be more than balanced. They have to start paying down the debt or face the US Govt. filing for bankruptcy (is that even possible?) How can a government expect it's citizens to operate on a balanced budget when it does not?!?!?!|
|Obama's speech was way too long for the average American attention span. I thought the main message was, "I know you're going to hate this, but we have to do more for the banks to get the credit crisis solved." Almost everything else seemed designed convince people that there was something in it for them, too. I'm glad he has the political fortitude to tell people --- including virtually everyone who voted for him --- a hard truth that they will find hard to swallow. Regarding Jindal's speech: If Barak Obama is an all-star major leaguer when it comes to oratory skills, I'd say Bobby has just reached Double A.|
|Fell asleep at 9:20 and then went to bed--hopefully I can find a synopsis on line!|
|If the R's don't become part of the solution, they will soon become irrelevant.|
|As for the president's speech: It was moving and inspiring...now let's hope it all happens.|