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Two years ago, millions descended on Washington, D.C. to watch the inauguration of America’s first black president.

On Tuesday night, as President Barack Obama headed into his second State of the Union address — and the halfway point of his first term — political talk had begun to center around the successes and failures of his first two years and his imminent campaign for re-election.

“Everyone has a good honeymoon, but [Obama’s] was just dynamic,” Political Science assistant professor Daniel Gillion said, referring to the excitement generated by his election.

“The political mood was much better then, but you had this historical context to consider,” Gillion said.

“There was an extraordinary amount of hype and excitement for some good reasons, but also for some with less tangible importance,” Engineering junior and Penn College Republicans president Peter Terpeluk said. “I think people are becoming unhappy with what they think they were sold,” he added.

After a large Republican midterm election victory in November, it appears that bipartisanship will be a common theme for Obama’s next two years.

The President’s address was mainly “trying to focus on initiatives that both Democrats and Republicans could come together on,” College sophomore and Penn Democrats Vice President Jake Shuster said.

Terpeluk noted that the speech reflected a “shift away from [Obama’s] policies,” including his mention of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps coming back to college campuses, “which is a very Republican idea.”

“The conservative-led Congress has to show America that it’s able to do something, and the President also has the burden of having to get things done and try to get re-elected,” Gillion said.

Even as judgements of Obama’s first two years in office continue to be made, attention is already shifting to the 2012 election.

Despite widespread speculation about Obama’s chance of winning re-election, Penn Dems president and College sophomore Isabel Friedman thinks it’s still too early to tell either way.

“No Democrat should think it’s a shoo-in, and no Republican should be thinking he’s already doomed,” she said.

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