Watch CBS News

Cheers, laughs and at time boos at Manny's State of the Union Watch party

Standing-room only crowd gathers at Manny’s for the annual State of the Union Watch party
Standing-room only crowd gathers at Manny’s for the annual State of the Union Watch party 04:19

SAN FRANCISCO -- Almost 100 people packed into Manny's in San Francisco for the annual State of the Union Watch party - including Aram Fischer, who hasn't missed one since the Mission District gathering place opened 5 years ago.

"I think it's great to have an opportunity to share with other people who care about politics but also meet with some of those people who are really making politics happen," Fischer said. 

Manny Yekutiel opened the café and political bookstore in the Mission specifically to create a gathering place for people to exchange political ideas.

"We could all just sit at home alone and watch it or we can come together and we can share reactions, we can listen, we can enjoy, and so I'm trying to make these important moments in our politics fun and enjoyable and communal," he told KPIX. 

The standing-room-only crowd reacted with cheers, laughs, and at times boos as they listened to the president's speech. When it was over, Manny encouraged people to take the microphone and share their reactions.

"I thought he made the Democrats and what we want to get done look good, and he got it done Joe!" said Rafael Mandelman, San Francisco Supervisor for District 8. 

"It was a powerful speech and I think he put the line in the sand and as Raffie mentioned, the Republicans fell all over themselves looking foolish," said Precious Green, who also attended the watch party. 

"I think the President struck the right really strong message around public safety and police,"  said Peter Gallotta, vice chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party.  "He was clear that we need reform and I think that was a really strong message."

The back and forth between Biden and Republicans about potential cuts to Medicare and Social Security drew the strongest reaction from the crowd. 

"His ability to get Republicans to basically say they're not going to cut those programs is, I think, the biggest outcome of that speech," Fischer said. 

Almost everyone we talked to said they didn't expect Biden to be so funny and make so many jokes.

"He was funny, he was spicy, you could tell the granddaughters sat him down and said, "OK, here's how you need to write this speech," Green said.

"How much humor was used to diffuse a lot of what he was saying, it worked very effectively I thought, diffused a lot of tension but also called out a number of issues," Megan McGovern said. 

People said they appreciated the humor and felt it was an effective way to get his point across.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.