Hyde Park Residents Reflect on Obama's First Year

January 20, 2010

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Today is the one-year anniversary of Barack Obama being sworn in as President of the United States. WBEZ's Tony Arnold went to Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood to see what residents think of the South Sider's first year.

The bustling Valois Cafeteria on 53rd Street isn't far from the Obama's house. Diners like Clifton Edgeson, who say they voted for Obama, are as commonplace as the omelets.

Though Edgeson calls the president's first year complicated.

EDGESON: From all the mess that President Bush left us. Because he have to clean that up before he do what he needs to do.

But Florence Wasp, reading a novel after her breakfast, says it's too soon for a progress report.

WASP: He's got his hands in so many things right now. Hopefully he'll come out on top if people will just be patient with him.

High school wrestling coach Chris Spurlock says he still feels Obama's presence in the neighborhood.

SPURLOCK: You won't see him, but it still feels like this is Obamaland.

Spurlock says that positive influence seems to have gone beyond Hyde Park. He says the president has improved America's reputation around the world.