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Obama tells Oprah he deserves a 'good, solid B+.' Critics cry grade inflation. Your thoughts?

December 14, 2009 |  8:20 am

President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey at the White House December 2009

It's been almost a year since President Obama took office.

And last night, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey during her White House Christmas special, the president assessed his first year. His Santa-I've-been-good list: The economy has been rescued from the abyss, U.S. involvement in the war in Iraq is winding down, the deployment of 30,000 more U.S. troops in Afghanistan will protect U.S. interests, and American prestige has been restored around the world.

Asked to put a grade to his achievements, Obama, a former professor and star student at Columbia University and Harvard Law School, gave himself "a good, solid B+." And if Congress passed healthcare reform, he added, it would boost his grade to A-.

Critics were quick to pounce. BBC radio political correspondent John Romano noted that, according to the Gallup Poll, only 48% of Americans currently approved of Obama's performance, suggesting that voters might not be as generous in grading.

In a "political perspective from an African American mom," Joni Hudson-Reynolds suggested that -- with 16 million Americans out of work, a rate particularly high among black Americans -- perhaps the president is grading himself on a curve. "President Obama is a likeable guy, but no way has he earned such high marks with the American public," she wrote.

And one self-described Florida conservative offered a point-by-point analysis of Obama's performance, giving him a C on healthcare and an F on the economy. "This is why schools don't ask teachers for self-evaluation," he concluded.

Let us know what you think.

-- Johanna Neuman

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Photo: Pete Souza / White House

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