POLITICS

Some locals disappointed by Obama's speech

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At the Sticky Fingers vegan bakery in Columbia Heights, there are plenty of sweets - but tough talk when it comes to what voters want from their president.

Some who describe themselves as leaning left say that despite the promises made in the President's State of the Union speech Tuesday night, they're not satisfied.

Based on his impressions of the President's speech, D.C. voter Rob Santucci says he's disappointed the president didn't do more to take a tough stand against the Republicans.

“Everything seemed just very moderate to me and phrased in such a way to be as inoffensive as possible,” Santucci says. “I was looking for a little more positive definitive statements made.”

In his third State of the Union address, Obama issued a populist call for income equality that echoed the Occupy Wall Street movement. He challenged GOP lawmakers to work with him or move aside so he could use the power of the presidency to produce results for an electorate uncertain whether he deserves another term.

Facing a deeply divided Congress, Obama appealed for lawmakers to send him legislation on immigration, clean energy and housing, knowing full well the election-year prospects are bleak but aware that polls show that the independent voters who lifted him to the presidency crave bipartisanship.

"I intend to fight obstruction with action," Obama told a packed chamber and tens of millions of Americans watching in prime time. House Republicans greeted his words with stony silence.

The Democratic president's vision of an activist government broke sharply with Republican demands for less government intervention to allow free enterprise. The stark differences will be evident in the White House's dealings with Congress and in the presidential campaign over the next 10 months.

On the streets a day after the speech, many voters say they wanted the president to focus on one issue in particular: jobs.

Steve Williams wants to find a new job and thinks President Obama laid out good ideas to grow the economy - but needs another term in office to get it done.

“I know there are a lot of people who are looking for work and there just aren't enough jobs out here,” Williams says.

But one Maryland voter says the president offered too little, too late on the jobs front. The State of the Union speech was not enough to change his decision to vote against Obama.

“I was out of a job for two to three months and I couldn't find one,” says Silver Spring resident Colin Tierney. “I feel like there should be more jobs out there - available to every American citizen.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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