Obama: a year on sympathies wane

It's one year since Barack Obama won the 2008 Presidential elections with a message of change. Author and radio show host Thom Hartmann discussed this past year with RT.

Since taking office, Obama had to deal with a financial crisis, a growing war effort in Afghanistan and the backlash from a controversial health care bill.

And all of that has taken its toll, with polls showing many people are disappointed with what's been accomplished so far. According to Hartmann, many things about Obama have become more clear during his first year in office:

“He is a centrist politician. He is a ‘Big D’ Democrat,” Hartmann said.

“Frankly, he’s done some good things, but he’s not even half way there,” he added.

According to pollsters Gallup, Barack Obama’s approval rating is down from 68% on the day of the inauguration, to 52% now. Some Americans believe the President isn't living up to his promises.

“It's terrible. It's very terrible. I am a US army vet, and I don't have a job. It's terrible,” a passer-by in New York says.

What has Obama done to make the life of Americans better? Max Samuel speaks eight languages, and has nine kids. He spent several years homeless, but says he now works in the perfume business.

“It's real hard. You have to be persistent every day. And, as the economy is right now, you're not sure every day what you're going to bring home,” he says.

The number of those who don’t have a job at all is in the double digits and millions are homeless with nowhere to go.

For Joe Little at the New York Rescue Mission, these are not just empty numbers.

“Demand for the food and beds has increased approximately 20%. In fact, lately, we are determining that it's more like 25% over a year,” Joe Little said.

However, this year, enormous sums were available for injections into Wall Street.

“The average American – even most journalists – don't really have a sense for exactly how much money has been put on as available for bailing out Wall Street,” author and journalist Nomi Prins says.

Another thing the Obama administration has been finding the cash for, is warfare. Tens of thousands of men have been relocated into Afghanistan to fight in what has already been dubbed “Obama’s Vietnam” by some.

“To spend the kind of money we have been spending on wars – and will continue to spend if we expand the war in Afghanistan – and to do that at a time when the unemployment rate in the US is the highest it's been in 26 years, really poses basic questions about our priorities,” says Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations at Boston University.

African-Americans had separate hopes for Obama as President.

“Surely black people understand that he wouldn't just have black policies for completely black people, as a black President. But he has paid no attention whatsoever to black people,” says James David Manning, pastor at Atlah World Missionary Church.

Excuses for why the nation of fast food isn’t getting faster change are running out.

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