Nebraskans react to President Obama’s State of the Union address

Story and video by Hailey BuddenburgJacob BryantJordan KranseAlex Lantz, Carl MejstrikMiranda Milovich, Katie Nelson, Julia Peterson, NewsNetNebraska

President Barack Obama toured the country Wednesday reinforcing his messages from Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

President Barack Obama waves to a camera while he greets audience members after delivering remarks on the federal minimum wage, at Costco in Lanham, Md., Jan. 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama waves to a camera while he greets audience members after delivering remarks on the federal minimum wage, at Costco in Lanham, Md., Jan. 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

That message echoed what the president said about minimum wage in his fifth State of the Union address.  The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25. It hasn’t increased since 2009.

Mr. Obama said he could use an executive order to hike the minimum wage to $10.10 for all government contract work. Even though the minimum wage increase would only effect 6 percent of Americans, the president touched on other ideas that would increase the federal minimum wage and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans.

 

Hoping for improvement

2013 was a tough year for Obama.  The flawed Obamacare roll-out resulted in the president’s lowest approval ratings to date. A sharply divided congress made it difficult for the Obama administrations legislative agenda to move forward.

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President Barack Obama reviews his speech one last time while waiting in a room at the U.S. Capitol prior to delivering the State of the Union address in the House Chamber in Washington, D.C., Jan. 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

According to a snap CNN/ORC International poll, 44 percent of the respondents had a “very positive” response to Obama’s State of the Union speech, compared to 32 percent whop had a “somewhat positive” reaction, and 22 percent who didn’t like it at all.  Last year, 53 percent of respondents rated the president’s State of the Union speech as a “very positive” experience.

In the speech Obama acknowledged that a rough 2013 lowered his public approval rating.

“Sometimes we stumble; we make mistakes; we get frustrated or discouraged,” Obama said. “But for more than 200 years, we have put those things aside and placed our collective shoulder to the wheel of progress.”

Click below to see local reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union address

President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address:

GOP response to President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address:

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