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Published January 28, 2010, 06:15 PM

Local Reaction To State of the Union Address

The economy was the main focus of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address last night.

The economy was the main focus of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address last night.

The address is most frequently used to outline the president's plan for the upcoming year.

Today the general public and politicians are evaluating the president's speech,

Susan Skinner says, “I thought it was an interesting speech, and if it comes true, it would be wonderful.”

Ben Swanson says, “I'm optimistic but yet cautious on how he's going to do all this.”

While people around Grand Forks react to the address, UND political science professor Robert Wood has been talking about the speech with his students. He says he wasn't surprised that the president dedicated most of his speech to the nation's struggling economy.

Wood says, “I think they're recognizing that what voters are really resonating with-yeah they care about health care reform, and there's an opportunity here, and it needs to be done-but jobs, the economy is still number one on everybody's minds.”

Wood says the speech is prepared months in advance, but the tone of it might have changed a lot over the last few weeks.

“You can imagine that up to just a couple weeks ago, this was going to be about health care. This was going to be a victory speech for this great reform,” says Wood.

Despite the criticism over the last couple weeks, Wood says he thinks Obama delivered a wonderful speech and was very calm, confident and comfortable.

“I haven't seen presidents very often drop in informal touches, like little side notes, side comments,” says Wood.

Even though Wood says it was a good speech, it probably won't matter too much on his presidential approval rating. What he does about the topics he talked about will matter more.

Swanson says, “If he comes up with half the stuff he has, if he can go through with it, I think his presidential term would be very good.”

Skinner says, “I'd just like to see the country out of debt and people have jobs and things get back on course.”

Even though the economy was the main focus of Obama's speech, he also talked quite a bit about health care reform, the war overseas, and climate change.