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Democrats Disgruntled as Obama Fails to Deliver

WASHINGTON - Since before taking office, U.S. President Barack Obama has been no stranger to being in the crosshairs of Republican pundits who have accused him of everything from bring a "secret communist" to a tax-and-spend liberal who would oversee huge expansions in the federal government.

Obama met on Wednesday with the two top Democrats in Congress to discuss ways to spur the economy and reverse a climb in the U.S. unemployment rate. But a growing voice of criticism here in Washington is Democrats who feel the president has failed to deliver on a large number of the campaign promises he made during the run-up to the November election.

This sentiment of disappointment and frustration with Obama's lack of progress on his agenda - topped by his seeming inability to build a consensus in his own party on healthcare reform, concern that he may be in the process of committing the U.S. to an unwinnable war in Afghanistan, and inaction on closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and repealing the ban on gays in the military - was put on striking display on Saturday night when NBC's Saturday Night Live (SNL) led off with a satirical skit portraying Obama listing his two major accomplishments since taking office as "Jack and Squat".

The SNL skit came on the heels of last week's announcement that Chicago had lost its bid for the 2016 Olympics for which the president and first lady had made a last-minute trip to Copenhagen to personally lobby the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC's decision to award the games to Rio de Janeiro left the administration with the political equivalent of egg on their faces.

Indeed the White House's seeming inability to accomplish its major public initiatives comes as a surprise to members of both parties as the Democrats have a majority in both the House and Senate and - at least in theory - should be in an ideal position to push an agenda of their choosing. 

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