U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall praised President Barack Obama's delivery of the State of the Union last week.
But unlike his Democrat colleague, who gave his opinion in Thursday's political notebook, the Republican Woodall said he is more concerned with results than with oratory.
"Year after year the president has given a State of the Union Speech asking that we all come together to get things done. Yet, when I show up 'in the middle' the president is nowhere to be found," the congressman from Lawrenceville said. "When Bill Clinton won his second term, he moved from the left to the center. When George W. Bush won his second term, he moved from the right to the center. My great hope was that President Obama would follow this same model. Yet he used both his inauguration address and now his State of the Union speech to promote more spending, a larger federal government, and a liberal social agenda rather than focusing on the common ground of creating jobs and growing the economy. I am both surprised and disappointed that the president is choosing this path."
Woodall talked about a deeply divided electorate, but he said that both sides should come together to get things done.
"We can; I just haven't seen any indication that the president wants to do anything more than talk about it," he said. "Look at his speech. Which lines appeared to mean more: the ones where he said, 'let's work together' or the ones where he said, 'if you won't do it my way with me, I'll do it my way without you through executive power'? History shows us the latter, but I remain hopeful that the future will tell a different story."
Both of Georgia's senators said they were glad to see Obama focusing on jobs, but they said disagreed with the specifics.
"Bigger government and more spending are not the keys to American prosperity," U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss said. "To create more jobs and a better quality of life for all Americans, we must tame our debt and deficit while getting our nation's spending under control. Instead of trying to grow government and raise taxes yet again during a time of economic hardship, we should be enacting meaningful legislation that reforms entitlements, simplifies the tax code and cuts spending."
His Republican colleague Johnny Isakson talked about Obama's trip to Atlanta to follow-up the speech and show Georgia's pre-k program "as a shining example of state education improvement in this country.
"I emphasize 'state education' because the main role of government is at the local level and at the state level, not at the federal level," Isakson added. "With the exception of our poorest kids and those with disabilities, there are really no federal roles in education, except to ensure the education of our children."
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.