Valley Residents Reaction to State of the Union Address

FRESNO, Calif. "This was a breath of fresh air. I think his speech was fantastic I think he's the agent of reality in chief. "Brown added that "This was no "Mission Accomplished" speech. He addressed the issues head on and acknowledged this had been a very tough year."

Mike Prandini, a Republican, who is the President of the Building Industry Association of Fresno County, agreed the President had a lot of good things to say, but added, he doesn't know if Democrats will even follow the President on issues like nuclear power.

"He'll never get that through. His own party doesn't like nuclear energy so it's going to be impossible. Or open up offshore drilling, who's going to believe that." Prandini said despite the President's promises he has yet to deliver the details.

Mike Dozier, directs community and economic development programs through Fresno State University and appreciates the fact the President has been listening to the needs of small business. He said the President touched on issues made at economic forums around the country.

Dozier said, "And a lot of the things he had to say things that he wanted to address seemed to come verbatim from some of those forums including the tax credit for small businesses and more money going to community banks and the Small Business Administration."

Accountant Cheryl Storer, a Republican, acknowledged the President sounded good. She liked his pledge to cut government; she just wants it done sooner. "What I would like to see is instead of the freeze on spending happen next year I would really like to have heard it was going to start this year. We need to know the government is going to quit spending the way it's been going. And how about some cuts."

Republican Harry Harris, a retired professor and economist who served in Washington D.C in the Nixon and Ford administrations, and now owns a Health care business, was pleased to see the President promised to keep fighting to expand health insurance coverage. "So, I'm heartened tonight. And I'm glad he hasn't given up on health care, because I am on the right in terms of Republican and I'm a registered Republican, but I believe we should be doing more on this business."

Harris adds, he was quite inspired by the fact the President focused almost all of his speech on domestic issues. "And, I really admire this man for his fortitude and his honesty and we're going to be moving ahead because America is great and we don't give up."

While the panelists generally praised the President's speech, they all expressed frustration at the continued gridlock in Washington, and were not optimistic the address would change that.

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