Slideshow: What Does the State of the Union Mean to You?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


New Yorkers gathered at WNYC's Greene Space on Tuesday night to watch the President's State of the Union address. Every year we get this glimpse into the President's reflections on the previous year and his thoughts on the future. Some of you were excited about the speech, some were worried, some were just curious to hear what he had to say.

We wanted it to feel like you were really there so we captured it on camera with our own version of President Obama.

Theo Brainin

Sarah Litvin and Symi Rom-Rymer of New York posed with the President. Litvin (left) says, "This is the time of year when my family always gets together to talk politics."


Theo Brainin

Marsha Andrews of the Upper West Side was excited. "Tonight, I'm so thrilled! It's a very important moment for people to see the president in an unfiltered way as opposed to through the news," she said.

Theo Brainin

Theo Moore (right) of Brooklyn posed with his friend and President Obama. "I feel like it's like American Idol," Moore said. "Every year we watch it and it's the same thing, the same routine. He walks through the crowd, some people cheer, some people boo, and a week later we forget everything."

Theo Brainin

Faith Justice of Brooklyn said, "It has become more of a ritual than I think it was meant to be. I mean, the Constitution just said from time to time the President will let us know about the state of the union and now it's become this major political speech which I watch every year."

Gordon, who's also from Brooklyn added, "I'm always on the market to be surprised."

Theo Brainin

WNYC's Brian Lehrer and Sam Reiff-Pasarew from the Story Pirates.

Theo Brainin

Leana Rutt from Pelham, N.Y. had her picture taken with her teacher, Gail Sider. Leana was one of the winners of the Story Pirates competition. "I wrote a story that Joe Biden wakes up from a dream that he's been introducing President Obama at the State of the Union address with no pants on," Leana said. "Biden gives him two pieces of advice, to do really well and to put his pants on!"

Theo Brainin

"I tend to feel like it's not a real gauge of where the country is. As I've watched it over the years I don't feel like it's really representative and not in any partisan way, but it just feels like propaganda, in either direction, liberal or conservative," Eileen Salzig (right) of Manhattan said. "I wonder if the dialogue after is even more important than the speech itself."

Theo Brainin

Layla Law-Gisiko of Manhattan said, "I'm hoping that the President actually brings some true leadership and guidance for the country."

Theo Brainin

Lisa of Manhattan said, "For me it's sort of a time to do a little reset and stop and think. It's a good time to slow down and pay attention because I get busy with my life, things that are day to day. And this helps me think, have I been paying attention? Maybe I should figure out what's out there."

John added, "It's an opportunity to set the tone for the coming year. Whether they say anything substantial or if it's just political rhetoric, that depends on the person."



Theo Brainin

Ben of Brooklyn said, "I remember the State of the Union in the mid-1980's and my memory was my father getting very angry at Ronald Reagan and yelling at the TV and ever since, I've understood the State of the Union to be a very big deal."

Sarah, also from Brooklyn, said for her, the speech doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore. "I always thought the State of the Union was a big deal and one year, I missed it by accident and it didn't make any difference in my life, so I felt a little sad about that."

Theo Brainin

Peter Law-Gisiko of Manhattan said, "This is an opportunity to bring the nation together."

Theo Brainin

Suzanne (left) of Manhattan said, "This is the time when you wait for something concrete." Jan, also from Manhattan, added, "This is the time to take stock and set a direction."


Theo Brainin

Angelina Del Rio Drake of Greenpoint and Mariah Doran of Bed-Stuy posed with the president.

Del Rio Drake (left) said, "It feels like the penultimate speech. I think about it because I write a lot of copy that's attributed to someone else. I'm a grant writer, so I think about the work that goes into a speech like this."

Doran said, "I'm really excited! This is my first time watching it with a group of people, with New Yorkers."

Theo Brainin

The President himself in our photo booth


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Comments [3]

Marsha Andrews from uws manhattan

Thanks a lot!! I look forward to doing some volunteer work with all of you. There's such a wonderful spirit! You all are impressive and doing a great job!

Jan. 27 2011 05:47 PM

Marsha, we've fixed your name. Thanks for coming!

Jan. 27 2011 11:13 AM
Marsha Andrews from Upper West Side

It was such a great night!! Wonderful energy, people and I want Brian to run for President.
I wish, on the slide show, they had put the correct name ... Marsha Andrews, not Marsha Man. I want Obama to know the real person. :-)

Jan. 26 2011 06:22 PM

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