Watch parties capture nation's feel

January 27, 2010 11:41:01 PM PST
In the Bay Area, there were a number of watch parties where folks gathered to see what president Obama had to say in his first State of the Union address.

President Obama said in his speech "I do not accept second place for the United States of America!"

At Oakland's Everett and Jones, Obama's speech hit all the right notes. After all, these are many of the same people who celebrated so vigorously in November 2008 when Obama won the presidency.

"His report card from us is an A+," says Antoinette Mobley.

"We're all still behind him. We're going to come through this and he's going to do everything he said he would do because it's going to be good for America," says June Sewell.

Others here acknowledge the first year was not all they hoped for.

"I for one was disappointed that the public option was taken out of healthcare," says Artise Hardy.

Here among his most ardent supporters, it is clear the Obama presidency has not lost any of its luster, but among Bay Area Republicans the feeling is much different.

Among Republicans in San Francisco, there was little excitement about what President Obama has said or done.

"What he's touting as economic reform is the same stuff that back in the 30s FDR touted and that just kept us in the Depression until World War II happened," says Republican Ed Sheppard.

"They did everything behind closed doors and tried to shove it down our throat," says Howard Epstein, from the San Francisco Republican Party.

The Republicans clearly did not hear what they wanted from the president.

"I have never been more hopeful about America's future than I am tonight," said Obama.

Regardless, in Oakland his words seemed no less inspiring than they were 14 months ago.