FAIRFIELD — Some of those in attendance for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address were so inspired they wanted to stick around and start planning for the future.
Rep. John Garamendi, D-Fairfield, said he and a few others are ready for action after Tuesday’s speech.
“It’s a great privilege. There’s no other word for being on the floor. It’s a great thrill. Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, it’s a great thrill,” Garamendi said by phone from Washington, D.C. “We were ready to stick around. Let’s keep working.”
He said it wouldn’t be long until they do get to work as Garamendi will attend hearings Wednesday dealing with transportation and the armed forces.
Garamendi said Obama laid out a solid plan and all the things needed to carry it out are in place. A couple of topics close to Garamendi’s heart were the focus on manufacturing and an exit plan from Afghanistan. Those are two topics Garamendi said he’s been working on for years. He said the news about eventually leaving the Afghanistan pleased him and others.
“That was a big cheering point for both Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “It’s a good night for America.”
Garamendi said he was most impressed with Obama’s call to allow all to vote. He called the point poignant and echoed his thoughts on getting rid of anything that makes it more difficult to get to the polls on Election Day.
“That was a very important statement about democracy,” Garamendi said. “Efforts to suppress voting are just very anti-American and anti-democracy.”
Obama’s speech failed to leave such an impression on Don Preston, chairman of the Solano County Republican Central Committee. Preston said it all sounded good, but he was left looking for specifics for some of the plans for education, business subsidies and manufacturing.
“I hear him talking about education and a lot of the people in Congress, they are sending their kids to private schools. They are saying one thing, and doing another,” Preston said. “I did not have that warm cozy feeling that anything of significance is going to be done. It’s upsetting, because we need leadership.”
Preston said he did enjoy Obama’s statement about all citizens working together and watching out for one another. He said that’s a good tone for the country.
On the other hand, Preston said it was confusing to hear about him talking about helping some businesses out with subsidies while going after others for receiving them.
Preston said major changes are needed to remain competitive, but those weren’t brought up during the speech.
“He had a nice speech writer. He has charisma. Those are very serious inconsistencies,” Preston said. “He should have concentrated on growing the economy and how he’s going to grow it. He never said it.”
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.