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What does "Hope" poster artist Shepard Fairey think of Obama now?

A January 17, 2009 file photo of artist Shepard Fairey unveiling his portrait of President-elect Barack Obama before it was installed at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Did Obama live up to the iconic "Hope" poster that artist Shepard Fairey created during the 2008 elections?

"Not even close," Fairey told Esquire magazine.

"Obama has had a really tough time, but there have been a lot of things that he's compromised on that I never would have expected," Fairey said. "I mean, drones and domestic spying are the last things I would have thought [he'd support]."

Still, the artist called Mr. Obama a "quality human being" and noted that some circumstances are "out of your control" as president.

"I'm not giving him a pass for not being more courageous, but I do think the entire system needs an overhaul and taking money out of politics would be a really good first step," he said.

Fairey also took the American electorate to task, complaining that a lot of Americans are "ignorant and lazy" when it comes to politics. "There's a lot of finger pointing and very little action and very little research into the dynamics that created the situation that they're unhappy about," he said.