Mizzou College Democrats react to State of the Union address

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 | 11:50 p.m. CST; updated 5:30 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 9, 2012
Chelsea Reynolds and Kellen Rotert attend the State of the Union watch party hosted by the MU College Democrats at Boone Tavern and Restaurant on Monday. Reynolds was impressed by President Barack Obama's public education initiatives. "I think that what he's doing with requiring high school students to graduate is unprecedented and awesome," she said.

COLUMBIA — President Barack Obama took the podium in the House of Representatives chamber on Tuesday night to deliver his last State of the Union address before his re-election attempt in 2012.

Almost 1,000 miles away, members of the Mizzou College Democrats nestled into their chairs at Boone Tavern, anticipating an inspiring speech to jump-start Obama’s 2012 campaign.

"I’m very optimistic this year,” Daniel Stribling, the club’s outreach director, said. “Democrats have proven they’re willing to work together. Republicans must be willing, too.”

But the optimism was tempered with uncertainty at the watch party. Some of the viewers said they are worried about their future prospects in the stymied job market.

Alanna Bauer, a former Mizzou College Democrats member who graduated in May, had trouble finding a job after testing the market. She winced at the mention of student loans.

“I just reached the six-month margin when I have to pay loans,” she said. “I definitely feel a burden. I wish I could go back to school to avoid it.”

Stribling admitted the group members felt apprehensive about their prospects after graduation.

“Everyone in this room is worried about their future outlook,” Stribling said. “But opportunities are out there if we do the right things.”

The viewers applauded as Obama carved out the tenets of his plan to restore an America where “everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

Obama’s remarks on higher education resonated with the college-aged crowd. His promise to double the number of collegiate work-study jobs in the next five years was received with great fanfare.

“We need to reinvest in education,” club president Zach Henry said. “The inequality of opportunity has increased too much in recent decades.”

Craig Arnzen, president of the Mizzou College Republicans, wasn't convinced.

“It’s a great promise,” Arnzen said. "But like every other put-it-on-my-desk promise, he knows he’ll never see the legislation to sign it."

Arnzen said he heard plenty of rhetoric but little reality in Obama’s words.

“It was a campaign speech packed with fluff — lots of message, no substance,” Arnzen said.

The Mizzou College Democrats left the watch party ready to move forward.

“I’m confident in the Obama administration,” Henry said. “Things are improving. There’s just a long way to go.”




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mike mentor January 25, 2012 | 8:11 a.m.

Craig hit the nail on the head. Why believe any promises this one makes when he is running about a 1% success rate from his last round of election promises? It can make you popular when you promise the world to everyone, but when you have failed to meet those promises, you have lost your credibility.

(Report Comment)
Sam Clemens January 25, 2012 | 8:41 a.m.


Politifact strongly disagrees with you:

Promise Kept 151, or 30 percent
Compromise 46, or 9 percent
In the Works 189, or 37 percent
Stalled 68, or 13 percent
Promise Broken 52, or 10 percent
Not Yet Rated 2, or 0.3 percent

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 25, 2012 | 9:03 a.m.

"The viewers applauded as Obama carved out the tenets of his plan to restore an America where “everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

His rules! Young Democrats, if he wins, you can count opportunities in Manufacturing and Green alternative energy projects. Might even be paid by the Government! If you are not interested in Mfg. or Green, forget it.

(Report Comment)
bob wessler January 25, 2012 | 9:16 a.m.

If you're young and not a democrat, you have no heart!
If you're old and not a republican, you have no brain!

(Report Comment)
mike mentor January 25, 2012 | 2:31 p.m.

I think most would agree that if you only keep 30% of your promises, you have failed miserably.

Clearly there is some disagreement on how many promises he made. Using your stats, only five hundred and some... I think he made that many to just his Chicago buddies who have all quit...

I wonder how the media would have treated the past president if he made 300 plus promises that he did not keep?

(Report Comment)
Eapen Thampy January 25, 2012 | 3:36 p.m.

I have trouble believing that compulsory education is consistent with Democratic values. Graduation is not an acceptable option for teenagers in many difficult situations, and we should let parents and teenagers have control of their own lives to pursue the education and career opportunities that they see fit. Indeed, the decision to end a school-based education is one that may indicate deep problems with our schools, and we should not seek to trap children in that environment if they decide on their own merit that they have better options.

Eapen Thampy

(Report Comment)

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