Michael Calhoun

WASHINGTON (KMOX) – President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address was either inspirational or tone-deaf, depending on which local politician you ask.

Democratic Congressman Lacy Clay gives the president a solid “A” for the speech. He thinks the president was well focused on the American middle class and can’t be accused of not reaching across the aisle.

“Tonight’s speech … reminded me of Presidents Bill Clinton and Franklin Roosevelt,” Clay said. “I think he was trying up with common sense ideas that have been proposed in the past by Republicans.”

Clay especially liked the focus on job creation and on training workers at the community college level.

Republican Congressman Todd Akin, meantime, criticized the president as being “tone deaf to America.” He doesn’t think the president’s State of the Union speech will sway voters.

“He was elected by speeches, but he’s going to be judged by his record, with the economy in the condition it is and by the massive federal spending,” Akin said late Tuesday.

“There were so many contradictions and so many twists of reasoning and so much inconsistency between what he’s done and what he’s saying, it would be very, very weak if you do the background. But on the surface it probably looked good to people.”

Akin criticized the president’s blocking the Keystone pipeline and supporting the failed solar company Solyndra.

Here are some other reactions, as emailed to KMOX News:

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill:

“The vision President Obama laid out to bolster manufacturing, like we did at the Ford plant in Kansas City, and invest in our work force is a starting point that we all should be able to support.  Missouri’s middle class families can’t endure more partisanship, brinksmanship, and political games.  They expect us to work together and be willing to compromise.  I’m ready to work towards that goal.”

Republican Senator Roy Blunt:

“Tonight we heard a lot from the President about ‘economic fairness’ and ‘American values.’ The most important American value in the economy is the value of an individual to get a job, and hopefully to get a private sector job. The President’s economic policies have not only failed – they’ve clearly made the economy worse. Particularly, his focus on ‘energy security’ contradicts all of the facts. I was just in 26 Missouri counties where the discussion was about: Why are my utility bills going up? Why is the power plant closing? Why didn’t the President move forward with the Keystone Pipeline?”

Democratic Congressman Jerry Costello:

“The President hit on themes that I have worked for my entire congressional career:  creating and keeping good-paying jobs in the U.S., investing in our transportation infrastructure and maximizing our domestic energy sources – particularly coal – to reduce our reliance on foreign sources of oil.  His focus on the economy and his call for keeping the promise of the American Dream alive should resonate, particularly his emphasis on accountability for Wall Street and tax fairness.”

Republican Congressional candidate Ann Wagner:

“Speeches are nice – but unfortunately, as President and Commander in Chief, those words ring hollow when millions of Americans remain unemployed and millions more have quit looking for work.  Worse yet, calls for “fairness” and “opportunity” are just words looked up in a Thesaurus by speech writers to cover-up the real story of the Obama Administration:  a failed social experiment born of big government, socialism and failed liberal policies.”


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