Nader gives Obama an 'F' for first year

Dec. 18, 2009 at 3:50 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. political activist Ralph Nader gave President Obama an "F" for his first year in office, saying he thought the president's performance was desultory.

The former Green Party candidate some Democrats claim denied Al Gore the presidency in 2000 told The Hill Obama basically "flunked" his first year in office, partially because he tried too hard to appease businesses, interest groups and political opponents.

"He's been far too concessionary to large corporations, many of which want to block his legislation and many of which are being bailed out by his administration," Nader said. "And when you're concessionary, for the president, the Republicans smell weakness, they smell pliability, they smell the desperation ... and when you project weakness, instead of steadfastness, then you facilitate divisions within your own party."

Obama gave himself a "B+" last week, mostly as a result of this year's healthcare debate, The Hill said, which his opponents said was a tad too high.

Nader said Friday he agreed with the opposition's sentiment, characterizing Obama's performance so far as "a weak presentation of self."

He charged Obama also reneged on many original positions, such as establishing a public health option, ending torture and raising minimum wage, ultimately threatening Democrats in 2010.

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