Penn College audience reacts to inaugural speech

Some people among the small gathering at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Penn’s Inn Monday who saw President’s Obama’s inauguration made it clear they liked what they heard.

“I thought it was a great speech,” said Judy McConnell, a college librarian. “I believe in everything he says.”

McConnell was one of about a dozen people watching on a big screen television as the president talked about equality and freedom.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Obama said, must be “real for every American.”

The president said every citizen deserves a basic degree of security and dignity.

“He’s a wonderful speaker,” said Pat Scott, who also works as a school librarian.

She called his speech informed and concise.

Scott especially liked Obama’s call for everyone to work together, despite political differences.

“And that hasn’t been happening,” she said.

Scott said she foresees Obama continuing to push gun legislation, a topic that was absent from his speech.

“I’m not surprised he didn’t talk about that,” she said. “It would have been too divisive.”

Several other people who viewed the inaugural festivities declined to offer any comment.

Obama said the nation is moving past a decade of war and toward an economic recovery.

He said America’s possibilities are endless, but everyone must be included.

“America depends on a rising middle class,” he said.

And freedom should not be reserved for the lucky.

He also talked about global warming and the need to embrace technologies that push for alternative energy sources.

He called for everyone to answer the call of history.

Malinda Love, assistant director of Student Activities for Diversity and Cultural Life, said she felt the president’s second inaugural speech drew less enthusiasm than his first one four years ago.

She noted that there was no applause at certain points of his speech.

Love was struck by the president’s call for jobs and for the nation to be more competitive.

The speech itself, she added, was representative of what the president believes.

“Diversity is something that’s very important to him,” she said.