Student political leaders react to State of the Union address

Jackie Valley

Kent State’s political group leaders welcomed President George W. Bush’s bipartisan attitude in last night’s State of the Union address, but disagreed on his solutions to the nation’s problems.

Facing a Democrat-controlled Congress for the first time, Bush called for unity and asked Congress to authorize sending an additional 20,000 soldiers and Marines to Iraq.

Elizabeth Eisaman, president of College Republicans, agreed with Bush’s stance on the war.

“The troop surge is necessary for our forces to win in Iraq,” she said.

But College Democrats President Donovan Hill said he disagreed with Bush’s solid faith in the democracy of the United States.

“Democracy has serious problems if he is adding 20,000 troops,” Hill said. “It’s proof that he is not willing to change.”

The United States entered the war under false pretenses, Hill said, and “a 20,000-troop increase is not what the public wanted.”

He said he was, however, pleased with the president’s energy initiatives designed to improve the overall climate.

“I was surprised he acknowledged global warming and opened doors on Capitol Hill to solve that problem,” he said.

Bush proposed cutting the United States’ gasoline usage by 20 percent over the next 10 years by using alternative fuels and reforming the current fuel economy standards for cars.

Eisaman said that, overall, she was pleased with the president’s call to balance the federal budget and reform health care.

“I feel like the president presented a strong, positive and powerful agenda for our nation’s future,” Eisaman said.

Even so, Hill said only time will reveal how Americans react to the president’s new agenda.

“I think depending on how people viewed him beforehand will determine their reaction,” he said. “It doesn’t necessarily matter what he says during the speech.”

Contact student politics reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].