Generation Opportunity members were not impressed by the president's speech at a State of the Union viewing party.

Generation Opportunity members were not impressed by the president’s speech at a State of the Union viewing party. Photo by Will Hicks/MNS


WASHINGTON– In the House chamber Tuesday night, President Barack Obama had less than half the room in support of us his speech. At the nearby Capitol Lounge on Pennsylvania Avenue, he had close to none.

A group of young conservatives, brought together Generation Opportunity, heckled and jeered at the television as Obama delivered his State of the Union address.
Generation Opportunity is a libertarian-leaning advocacy group targeting young people, primarily funded by Koch Brothers-backed nonprofits. It is most known for its ads urging young adults to opt out of Obamacare.
The group hosted a free viewing party at the lounge, enticing millennials with free wings, pizza and two drink tickets. An extra drink ticket could be earned by filling out a survey.
Lines stretched out the door at the 8 p.m. opening and once everyone had been packed in, it was shoulder-to-shoulder standing room only.
“We’re trying to bridge the gap between young Americans and the government they feel shut out of,” said Evan Feinberg, president of Generation Opportunity.
Feinberg and Generation Opportunity hope to bring issues into the national conversation that are important to young people such as ballooning college tuition costs and a rising national debt. Although these issues were mentioned in the speech, Feinberg was not impressed with Obama’s “big government solutions.”
“I expect fairy tales and pixie dust,” said Charlie Katebi, one of those crowded in the bar, before the speech.
Generation Opportunity kept the crowd engaged through drinking games and State of the Union bingo. Tiles on the bingo boards were filled with phrases like “If the president says ‘make no mistake'” and “One half of Congress gives a standing ovation.”
Not all opposed everything the president said, but even those often doubted his sincerity.
“I’m sure he’s gonna say stuff I agree with but it is more about if he backs it up with actions,” said Susan Davis, a registered Republican.
Robert Towner, an occasional volunteer for Generation Opportunity, said the worst part of the State of the Union was its predictability. He said he already knew the president’s points before he made them because of administration leaks during the past week.

Although the Capitol Lounge viewing party didn’t change many participants generally negative views toward Obama and his policies, it did reap some benefits – for Generation Opportunity.
“I’m definitely going to get involved now,” Davis said, “’cause this party is awesome.”