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Americans give verdict on Obama's State of Union speech

BBC News website readers in the United States assess President Obama's first State of the Union address.

EMMA VICK: UNIVERSITY STUDENT, 21, BURLINGTON, VERMONT

Emma Vick

Obama was amazing last night, he reduced me to tears. I think he's too good for Washington. I voted for him in 2008.

He's got this ability to tell people exactly what he is thinking. Bush gave a ton of rhetoric and lied to us for eight years - that's just my view of course - but Obama laid it out plainly.

He said we were in a bad situation, but he was handed horrible cards. So quality change will take time.

Job issues are so important. Where I live in Vermont we don't have a lot of chain stores and small businesses are at the heart of America.

I totally support the healthcare plan, but I also think that if the Democrats don't stand up for what they believe in, it's going to be so watered down it won't have the integrity of true reform.

The Democrats need to grow a spine and stop acting as if they are still under the thumb of a Republican.

SHARON HACKER: SELF-EMPLOYED, 64, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

I voted for the opposition, not Obama. I live in a town of very high house repossessions and unemployment - and it hasn't improved.

The speech sounded like he was still campaigning instead of telling us what has been done over the past year.

He's still pushing things we don't want, such as healthcare reform. Medics won't be interested in providing quality care if there's no profit in it for them. That's why communism didn't work.

I come from a military family and I don't like the way he's told the enemy we're going to pull out all our troops. You never give away your plans, that will get our children killed.

His measures for small businesses sound viable, but I'll believe it when I see it.

The section on partisanship - I think he's telling the opposition to stop objecting to giving him what he wants. But that's called democracy! It's meant to be noisy.

His speech didn't change my opinion. But I would like him to show me he can achieve something.

GARRET CLAY: RUNS OWN BUSINESS, SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA

Garrett Clay

Many of us progressives who worked for his election feel we have been conned. He's great at speeches, but nothing ever happens.

I don't see any difference with the Republicans.

We're spending as much on defence as the next 40 countries combined and it's not buying us safety.

We want real healthcare, like you guys have in Europe. With a super-majority he had a chance to do something, but he didn't.

His measures to help small businesses, it's just nibbling round the edges - the plans won't really affect me. And by the time they get to Congress it'll be too little, too late.

No-one is standing up to the big business interests.

It's wonderful to see a black man running the country. The Republicans damaged the country so badly he was able to get elected, but he's squandering it all.

VERNER EGLIT: RETIRED, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

What struck me most about Obama's speech was his reaching out across the aisle to get Congress working.

I wish Obama would get more forceful

Republicans so far would rather see him fail than achieve anything that would help the country.

I voted for Bush first time around because he said he was going to be a compassionate conservative. But he moved too far to the right. I voted for Obama in 2008.

I support Obama absolutely on healthcare reform. I also agreed with bailing out the financial systems, but I think he should have let some of the car companies fail.

I don't think his plans for a freeze on public spending will help much, but it's a positive step.

I wish Obama would get more forceful and rally the Democrats behind him more.

Even though they don't have a filibuster-proof Congress, the Democrats do still have 59 votes and why they don't run with that I don't know.

The Republicans are holding the nation hostage. Obama has been very diplomatic and tactful, but it's time to take the gloves off. I think he was starting to do that last night.



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