On Tuesday, Newsday asked several Long Islanders what they hoped to hear in President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech. Wednesday night, the same residents gave their thoughts on whether Obama met their expectations.
"I am blown away. Amazing. It met my expectations and exceeded them beyond my wildest imagination. I have to say I love his personable and joking approach to some of it. It made me feel I could sit and relate to him. But what really got me were his quotes, 'I will not walk away from these Americans' when talking about health care reform. And of course his ending, 'We don't quit. I don't quit.' Simple, to the point and very strong.
Nancy Levine, late 40s, Roslyn Heights, works in office of husband, an endodontist
"I found his speech uplifting and positive toward health care reform. He took the blame on not explaining the health care bill clearly and I think in the next few months I would like to hear him explain because no one is clear on what it is. A big thing he didn't talk about is dealing with tort reform. . . . I think he's on the right track, but I'm still skeptical about whether he'll be able to implement all the changes he proposed.
Nicole Fraser, 35, Amityville, hospital patient registrar
"Yes, I'm liking what he's saying about the small-business tax credit because I'm also one of those people that's an entrepreneur. . . . I manufacture all natural products for your hair and skin. . . . He's just reassured me about the future that he has for us, for the college students, giving college students a break. That's something I'm looking forward to. . . . I have a daughter going to college. . . . I'm happy that he's trying to build new jobs."
"He got everything on point. Everything that I wanted to hear, I heard. He's trying to create more jobs for the people. Health care reform, if I get sick, I want to be able to go to the doctor, the hospital, and get some care without being told, 'No, you can't have this, you can't have that.' It all sounds good. But we just have to wait and see. You have to have faith."
"It's pretty much expected. He's talking mostly about the economy. And he's very eloquent, as usual. Actions speak louder than words. He's going to put a lot of things in place to help the economy, and we'll see if they come to fruition. He knew he has to address the economy and lighten up on the issue of health care, though it seems he still wants to keep that in play."
"I liked this speech especially because he started talking about the economy and how he's going to help small businesses. Last year they spent a lot of money bailing out the banks and he's saying some of the money they recouped they are going to use to help small businesses. People like me can get credit and loans so we can buy inventory. We will have more resources to spend. I hope it will help us create jobs."
"It's refreshing. It's like having the president that I voted for. He's hitting all of the points that he campaigned on. . . . I think it's energizing. . . . Health care reform - he understands how hard it is to get these things done, but isn't going to give up."
>> Obama's proposals
>> Republican response
>> Full transcript of the State of the Union Address
>> Poll: What did you like best?
>> Obama's five challenges
>> Michelle Obama's look on Wednesday night
>> Complete coverage: Obama's 2010 State of the Union address