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State Of The Union 2012: Reactions Weren't All Predictable

Posted: 01/25/2012 8:07 am

WASHINGTON -- Not everyone played to form after Tuesday's State of the Union address by President Obama.

Republicans as different as Rep. James Lankford (Okla.) and Darrell Issa (Calif.) -- often pointed to as Obama's chief nemesis -- had praise for the commander in chief.

Lankford said he appreciated the president hailing the greatest generation, even if the limited-government advocate thought it was odd that Obama went on to say there could be another generation like that if the government helps it out.

Issa, who became a leading opponent of the recently scuttled Stop Online Piracy Act, praised Obama for setting up a better path to deal with intellectual property theft on the web. "I think he did a good job of teeing it up," said Issa, who also said he welcomed Obama's praise of the troops overseas.

Even Louisiana's freshman Rep. Jeff Landry (R), who last year held up a sign during Obama's address on jobs that read "Drilling = Jobs," found some common ground for praise, saying he agreed that Washington is broken.

On the Democratic side, Obama mostly got predictably high marks, even from some members who had previously criticized him. But Rep. Brad Sherman (Calif.) was freer with the criticism, arguing that Obama was wishy-washy on the trade and piracy issues Issa praised. "Tough but vague language leads me to fear there won't be tough action," said Sherman, who is facing a battle against fellow Democratic Rep. Howard Berman in a redrawn district.

Some Republicans declined to offer bipartisan good cheer. Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert noted, for instance, that few Republicans received copies of the speech. "Most presidents are a little more bipartisan," Gohmert said of the slight, before arguing that Obama's strategy "of working from ignorance" in the Afghanistan war is "no way to go through life, son."

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