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Locals, Obama Supporters Gather to Watch State of the Union

A Naperville resident hosted a watch party Tuesday night at her home for President Barack Obama's fifth State of the Union address.

When Christine Patterson decided to host a TV watch party for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address at her home in south Naperville Tuesday, she didn't know exactly how many people would show up. 

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Patterson, a long-time Obama supporter and volunteer for Organizing for Action, created a watch party event on Organizing for Action's website, but didn't receive one single RSVP.

However, shortly before Obama spoke Tuesday night, there wasn't an empty seat in the house.

Patterson quickly set up extra chairs and turned on a second TV to accommodate the 30 guests in her home just in time for the President to begin his address.

"This was the biggest crowd I have ever had," she said. "The second biggest crowd was the first phone bank after the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, but this completely eclipsed it." 

Some guests had visited Patterson's home in the past when she hosted phone banks and other Organizing for Action events, but the majority were new faces.

During the address, Obama touched on everything from the economy to a plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. 

The biggest applause from the party-goers came after Obama spoke on education and the hot-button issue of gun control. 

"Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote," Obama told Congress.

Similar Organizing for Action watch parties were taking place in about 1,100 different living rooms and homes across the country Tuesday night, according to Organizing for Action.

"The fact that 1,100 people held similar events is just incredible," Patterson said.

Most of Patterson's guests were Naperville residents or from the surrounding area who became aware of the party through the Organizing for Action website. Organizing for Action is a volunteer-based nonprofit supporting President Obama's national agenda and policies.

President Obama also addressed his supporters via conference call following the State of the Union. Guests at Patterson's home gathered in the kitchen around a telephone, which was set on speaker mode, to listen. 

During the call, President Obama urged supporters across the country to work with neighbors and friends to make their voices heard.

"Wherever you are, it's people like you that are going to help us realize the vision laid out tonight," he said. "We couldn't have achieved everything we've gotten without you." 

What did you think? Was the president on point? Did he touch on issues important to you?

Gerard Schilling February 13, 2013 at 12:53 PM
“Attempting to debate with a person who has abandoned reason is like giving medicine to the dead.” ― Thomas Paine
Christine Patterson February 13, 2013 at 08:58 PM
I was proud to host the State of The Union Address watch party to support President Obama last night and to welcome so many of his supporters. There is much resolve and commitment to work on achieving the President's initiatives. As the President said last night, "Let's Get This Done." - Christine Patterson
Gerard Schilling February 13, 2013 at 09:51 PM
Does let’s get it done mean: Run up another 5 trillion in debt for our sons/daughters to pay? Cause 6 to 10 million more unemployed due to crazy environmental laws and economic policies? Cause gas to go to $6 a gal. because he won’t allow drilling? Give our sworn enemies F 16s and tanks while he cuts our soldiers pay? Subvert our Constitution and its amendments at every opportunity. Devalue the dollar by printing money that has no backing in anything but his hope and change? Literally create a police state with DHS, IRS, DOE, AG, EPA, DOT and a ½ doz other illegal agencies? Go for it but those who are ignorant of history are bound to repeat it.
Wendi February 14, 2013 at 01:47 AM
Thank you for opening your home to us, Chris! I look forward to speedy passage of President Obama's initiatives. Whether it be in support or in critique, political awareness is the highest it has been in half a century and I am more proud than ever to perform my civic duties.
fred Bilz February 16, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Hi Chris: we are proud of you for getting actively involved in supporting President Obama and his goals for the forthcoming years. It is for people like you that Obama's initial success was not a mere flash in the pan an his presidency was extended for yet another 4 years!!! Your friends from Germany, Fred and Herta

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