College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Wertheimer Visits With Political Science Students

30-Year NPR veteran surveys students’ reaction to Obama’s speech to Congress.

by B.J. Koubaroulis

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Following President Barack Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress last week, students from the political science department met with National Public Radio’s senior correspondent Linda Wertheimer.
With more than 30 years of experience at NPR, Wertheimer brought her unique insight, analysis and political savvy to a forum that welcomed reaction from a demographic that the president heavily relied upon during the election. Before the president’s delivery, students shared their expectations. Wertheimer also gathered reactions following Obama’s address.

Here are just a few of the students’ expectations, reactions and opinions:

“The part of the speech that really stood out for me was when [President Obama] harkened back to our history and he said ‘We’ve been innovators. We invented solar technology and we can lead the world in solar technology and automobile technology.’ I think if you give Americans a mission, they come together to achieve it and that’s what I think he started to do tonight.”

—Ethan J. Vaughan, Government and International Politics

“He came at the issue (Bailouts for Banks and Automakers) from both sides, as he so often does, and leading me to conclude I’m not quite sure what he’s going to do. If he can strike a mix between, kind of motivating them and also allowing them to, at least to an extent, suffer the consequences of their poor decisions. So he’s going to have a tough choice driving down the middle.”

—George P. Manson, Political Science

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