Arizona Daily Wildcat January 28, 1998
Students react to State of the UnionMost of the dozen students who gathered in Social Sciences to watch President Clinton's State of the Union address last night sat attentively as he outlined his goals for Social Security, education and the conflict with Iraq.
Three students fell asleep about a half-hour into the 72-minute speech.
But no one heard one whisper about the recent allegations that Clinton had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Members of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honorary led by Jim Todd, a senior lecturer of political science, and other UA students gathered last night to watch the address.
Clinton appeared upbeat and positive about America's future. He said if Congress worked hard, it "could balance the budget this year."
One student thought Clinton's tobacco-tax proposal was too much.
"Clinton should realize that the tobacco industry provides a lot of money for the U.S. and we shouldn't be so quick to get rid of it," said theater sophomore Ken Madson.
Clinton also spoke directly to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and said, "You will not defy the will of the world," referring to Saddam's resistance to comply with U. N. sanctions.
The president stressed his goal to "save Social Security first," which was received well by both parties at a time when Social Security is in danger of falling by the wayside.
Most of the students who watched the address said they felt Clinton did a good job of taking the spotlight off himself and focusing on America's progress.
"Clinton gave the impression that America is moving in a positive direction and that things are looking up," said Mark Lillard, political science junior.
John Armstrong, a prospective political science graduate student, said, "Clinton's goal for the speech was to save his job. He was trying to say, 'Keep me on two more years.'"
Todd, the senior lecturer, said, "At first, I thought the timing was bad, but I think the address gave Clinton the chance to look presidential. It seemed strange that it was as if the scandal wasn't even happening, but I think it would have been inappropriate to have mentioned it."