US president Barack Obama has admitted that he has failed to unite Americans and change the way Washington works during his first year in office.
With his approval ratings falling below 50pc, Mr Obama confessed to his disappointment at not delivering key pledges of his campaign.
"What I haven't been able to do in the midst of this crisis is bring the country together in a way that we had done in the inauguration," he told 'People' magazine. "That's what's been lost this year. . . that whole sense of changing how Washington works."
Mr Obama, who will mark a year in office next Wednesday, came to power amid a surge of optimism that he could unify Democrats and Republicans and reverse the bitter polarity of the George W Bush era.
Instead, there has been little collaboration between the parties in Congress while floating voters who turned out en masse for Mr Obama have deserted him in opinion polls. His approval rating has tumbled from the mid-to-high 60s when he took over.
In a poll by Quinnipiac University, it was a close call as to whether respondents thought the US would have been better off had Mr Obama's Republican opponent, Senator John McCain, won the 2008 election -- 35pc felt that way with 37pc believing the country was better off under Mr Obama. The president's first year has seen him battle the worst economic crisis in 70 years, juggle two wars and contend with a revived al-Qa'ida threat. High unemployment, the slow progress of health care reform and bailouts for Wall Street have done most to damage his ratings. (© Daily Telegraph, London)