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Obama Volunteers in Kane County Identify with Tone in State of the Union Speech

President Barack Obama's third State of the Union address was given Tuesday night.

Inside a crowded St. Charles bar, volunteers from Obama for America’s Kane County team watched on as the President talked on national television about the economy and his agenda for the near future Tuesday.

For the group of nearly 30 volunteers watching on screens normally reserved for sporting events at in St. Charles, Obama’s State of the Union address is a reminder of the candidate—and the ideals he supports—for which they volunteered their time to help push him into office.

Much of Obama’s speech focused on the economy and jobs. The President's critics often cite a lingering economic recovery and a nationwide unemployment rate that remains far too high. In Illinois, statewide unemployment dropped, but only slightly, in December to 9.8 percent. In Kane County, the unemployment rate has hovered just under 10 percent in recent months.

“No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits,” Obama said. “I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last—an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values."

The tone of Obama’s words rings as particularly vital for one volunteer: Ben Carter. He is the community organizer for Kane County.

"People feel hurt. There’s a lot of anger and frustration and I think the best way to move forward is together … ,” Carter said. “I’m looking forward to the unity and the cohesiveness that he wants our country to have further on.”

Volunteer Ursula Small of St. Charles believes that people want to see progress made and is looking for Obama to accomplish this in "positive way" by pushing past what she sees as a lot of anger among Americans.

"We are tired of angry. We just want to move forward," Small said.

The Kane County team is tasked with establishing a stronger core of volunteers in what has historically been a Republican-dominated area. While several of those in attendance were new to the group, some of the local volunteers had been with the campaign since last year.

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-14) seemed to express disappointment in Obama's speech, saying in a response released shortly after the speech that President used "divisive rhetoric" instead making it priority to work with Republicans.  

"The efforts of the House Republicans are not, as he suggests, acts of obstruction, but rather we are remaining true to the principles of smaller government, less spending, and lower taxes, which are fundamentally incompatible with the taxing, spending, borrowing and government-growing policies of his administration," Hultgren said.

Hultgren also said it was "deeply disingenuous" for the President to say he supports American energy, just days after rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline project.

This was Obama's third State of the Union address and is being seen as a sort of starting pistol, beginning a 10-month campaign marathon to seek a second term in office.

LeighAnn Dethrow January 25, 2012 at 03:53 PM
i guess the Democrats are going to pretend the Solyndra scandal and the others like it never happened under "his" watch. The Billions of tax payers dollars lost. Why not look to our own Country for natural resources? The President would rather send the money & jobs overseas. And he says that we will not go back to being a country "weakened by outsourcing" give me a break!!!
Pat Riot January 25, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Yes, and now the oil from our closest neighbor is being sold to China - while we import waterlogged oil from Islamic countries.
Tony January 25, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I'm happy to see that Pat & leighAnn are right on target. Deb, if I formed a comittee saying the Lochness monster is now living in the Fox River would you believe that too? The Sierra club should note that we have 100's of piplines in the US & have for decades without any problems!!!
John January 25, 2012 at 09:44 PM
I mean honestly if you support this idiot as president still at this point you have to be brain dead. His speech showed how out of touch this guy is with reality and reconfirmed his hate for the working middle class. I feel bad for anyone stupid enough to still believe in this guy after 3 years of him openly killing this country with illresearched bad stimulous plans and bad investments. No way he can continue. Elections can't get here fast enough hopefully this time the voting polls in Elgin don't block republican voters from entering as they did last election as even when reported poll officials never came to inspect the situations.
Jimmy January 25, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Were some Republican voters actually blocked from voting in Elgin? I lived in Elgin for over nine years and always voted Republican in all elections. I moved to Batavia in 2003, but have never heard of your "Elgin blocking Republican voters" story.

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