As President Barack Obama opened his State of the Union address tonight, a small group of Tampa Bay area residents .
The watch party is just one of an estimated 2,500-plus gatherings going on all over the country this evening.
As the address began, the moods at this watch party were lively. Laughter rang out as national media cameras focused in on Republicans who appeared disgruntled. Still, attendees at the party have some serious issues on their minds.
For one South Tampa resident, the watch party is providing a place for her to get together with like-minded people to hear the President's address.
"It seems as though Tampa is full of conservative radio shows and I want to be around people with my thinking – progressive thinkers," said Angela Sosik of South Tampa.
This is her first time attending a watch party but she's looking forward to it.
"It's like watching the Super Bowl."
Sosik has her own opinions on the issues and what the Obama administration needs to do to put America on the right path.
When asked what she sees as the most important issue facing Americans today, she said: "I would say jobs. I'm blessed to have a decent job, but I hate the fact that so many are having a hard time.”
Does Sosik think America is on the right path?
“It's getting better, but Obama needs to do a better job getting the word out that it's getting better,” she said. “The conservative voices are loud right now, especially in the Bay area.”
Sheeba George is an Obama campaign volunteer and coordinator of the watch party in South Tampa. She with the 2008 campaign, but in 2010 had her own serious health care issues which made Obama health care initiatives a top priority for her.
"That became my reason for getting more involved in the campaign," she said.
Ashley Walker, the Florida Obama campaign director, joined the watch party. She says "there's a lot at stake in 2012."
As the address got under way, Walker and other gathered gave big cheers to Obama for saying he wants all kids to have to stay in school until they turn 18 or graduate.
Stay with Patch for updates about the State of the Union address.
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