While Cornel West, Princeton University professor and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America, once saw Obama as his "brother, companion and comrade," the past year has seen a decided turn in his attitude.
After calling the president a "black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats" last May, West is now forced to decide whom he will support in the upcoming presidential elections.
Asked his assessment, thus far, of the first Obama term, West responded: "The first three and a half years?" The Huffington Post reporter responded: "...don't know if there will be a second-- but first thus far."
"Mitt Romney's a catastrophic response to a catastrophe, whereas Obama is a disastrous response to a catastrophe," Cornel West said.
"Is disaster better than catastrophe? Yes it is," he said resignedly, before remarking, "I wish we had a third candidate who could actually do something, but we don't at the moment."
When asked by the reporter whether, then, West would be willing to declare his own candidacy, the professor responded:
"Oh s*it, no way that's not my call. I'm too free, I want to tell the truth. Can you imagine a president telling the truth?"
He continued: "Oh no, the oligarchs and the plutocrats wouldn't allow that in a minute, no brother. They're right now in the driver's seat and, we gotta tell the truth about oligarchy and the tide of poverty...we have to just be willing to tell the truth and then bear witness and create some social movement and political pressure on the system. The system now is in deep trouble, foreign policy as well as domestic policy."
He remarked, in conclusion: "[We have to] make sure there's no right-wing take over of the White House, but the neo-liberals who are running things now are in many ways, morally bankrupt."