On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama presented the State of the Union address to America. Throughout his speech, Obama seemed to paint himself as a champion for the middle-class working families in America. We spoke to some friends and acquaintances for their perception of Obama's speech.
"I didn't like Obama when he ran for election and I still don't like him now. He started his speech talking about the military troops and what an amazing job they've done, and they have, but it was just smoke and mirrors to make the president look better. It's still the same old, same old. Obama can preach about change all he wants, but America is in the same spot it was when he took office." -- Rebecca Windslow, accountant, Portland, Ore.
"I think Obama's speech was really inspirational. We've been fighting so hard to get America back to where it should be, fighting for a livable wage, more jobs and the ability to be self-sufficient and Obama has been listening. He's really hearing what the Americans want." -- Cassandra Dean, college student, Soldotna, Alaska.
"I don't understand what Obama is thinking proposing American manufacturing. Sure, it'd be great to get the jobs back over here, but it will just drive the price of goods up and Americans won't be able to afford the things they need. Has Obama not noticed that 'made in America' items cost more than the products manufactured overseas? In theory, American manufacturing might be a good idea, but come on. Who does he think he's kidding?" -- Joseph Ballen, retired military, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
"Obama is one of the first presidents in a long time to follow through with his promises. Progress may seem slow, but if you really look at it and pick it apart, it's there. It's being made. America didn't get into trouble overnight. We can't expect Obama to fix it overnight either." -- Christina Thompson, homemaker, Carmel, Ind.
"Obama threw an example about a woman who was laid off and then re-educated and hired into his speech. He made it sound so hopeful and great, but reality is a different picture. I got laid off just like that woman in his speech, but I've been looking for a job for almost six months and there definitely isn't anyone willing to pay for my education so I can get a new job." -- Melissa Huffman, unemployed, Noblesville, Ind.
"Education is a big deal and Obama touched on that. There are so many people out there looking for work, but all of the jobs that are open require education. Education that people can't afford to pay for themselves. I think working with schools to make education more affordable is the right direction for us to go. Educating workers will help us fill those empty jobs and help us take care of our families." -- Katie Dean, student, Soldotna, Alaska.
"I don't get why everyone was so excited over the State of the Union address. I watched a little bit of it and all Obama really said was the same things he's been saying since before we elected him. It's all just political promises and fancy wording. Nothing is any different than it was before." -- Maggie Campbell, cashier, Noblesville, Ind.
"Obama has a lot of good, admirable goals for our nation. All we can do is wait and hope that they come to fruition." -- Marilyn Johnson, Retired, Anchorage, Alaska.