Bipartisan students gather to hear Bush’s speech

Bipartisan students gather to hear Bush’s speech

By Zach Finkelstein

For the first time in his six years as President of the United States, George W. Bush presented his State of the Union address in front of a Democratic congress last night. Standing before the nation with a public approval rating of 34 percent, an all-time low for any president, Bush asked Democratic lawmakers to work with him so they can, “achieve big things for the American people.”

“Our citizens don’t much care which side of the aisle we sit on, as long as we are willing to cross that aisle when there is work to be done,” Bush said.

Burke Campbell, communications director of Northeastern’s College Democrats, said he hopes Bush will meet the Democratic-led Congress halfway to do what is best for the American public.

“I hope to see a lot of bipartisanship. It is going to be necessary that both sides of the aisle work together for the best interests of this country,” Campbell said. “A political gridlock would be bad, as it will hinder our nation from improving during the last two years of Bush’s tenure. Both domestically and abroad, there is a lot of work that needs to be done.”

During his 50-minute speech, the president proposed solutions for a myriad of issues, like health care reform, U.S. policy foreign policy in the Middle East and energy.

Josh Robin, President of the College Democrats, said he is reserving his judgment on the President’s speech. Robin hopes the president will follow through with his promises, but he will not take his words at face value.

“Bush has been proposing we find new energy sources for quite some time. To this point, his words have been empty,” Robin said. “Now with a Democratic Congress, maybe things will be different, but we have to wait and see if he follows through this time. We’re not dealing with the most compromising president in our history here.”

Bush did not go into great detail about Iraq, having addressed the nation less than two weeks earlier to announce he would send 21,500 more troops to the region. Instead, the president discussed his plans to combat enemies of America, extremists who “will not end until their radical vision is fulfilled.”

“Our enemies are quite explicit about their intentions,” Bush said. “They want to overthrow moderate government, and establish safe havens from which to plan and carry out new attacks on our country. By killing and terrorizing Americans, they want to force our country to retreat from the world and abandon the cause of liberty.”

Ben Brookman, treasurer of Northeastern’s College Republicans, said Bush’s speech was a good State of the Union.

Brookman added that he felt Bush’s speech was “predictable, and as expected. The President pretty much reiterated many of his points from his speech two weeks ago.”

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