Local reaction to President Trump's State of the Union address

Local reaction to President Trump's State of the Union address (PHOTO: KOMO News)

Some people who watched President Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night expected talk about immigration, foreign policy and the economy.

But others are questioning just how effective his message will be and if anything can get done.

In a back corner of a restaurant and bar in Fremont, about 10 people gathered with their eyes glued to large televisions broadcasting the speech and the Democratic response.

The small watch party was organized to spread the word about Fair Fight, a group created by Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams to advocate for election rights.

As a historian and teacher, volunteer Jordana Hoyt found herself disappointed by what she heard during the President’s address.

"I worry about his rhetoric, particularly about immigrants. As a historian, hearing that rhetoric definitely makes me worried. And I did not hear an appreciation for all sides of history," Hoyt told KOMO News.

Hoyt said the President’s calls for unity likely fell flat.

She heard nothing about hope.

It's something she feels a divided country desperately needs, she said.

Political analyst and KVI talk show radio host Kirby Wilbur told KOMO News the President’s points on the economy, foreign policy and immigration were strong, and he was surprised to hear a push for paid family leave.

Kirby wishes he would have heard something about entitlements and the country’s mounting debt, he said.

"State of the Union addresses are not usually effective at all. It reinforces the base. Doesn’t do much to convince other people. Rarely shifts public opinion. But it does allow him to lay out his agenda and what to work on over the next year. But it rarely changes the meter, if you will, in terms of public opinion," said Wilbur, who rated President Trump's address a 3.5 out of 5.

"He never once mentioned climate change," said Nancy Hoyt, who watched the speech and the Democratic response.

Opportunities that some feel President Trump missed.

Hoyt doubts much will change going forward.

"I just wish that we had someone that really could have a conversation that really was truthful, that was open like Stacey Abrams was able to do. But that’s not what we’ve heard at all for 2 years," she said.

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