|Source: Madame Lamb|
By John Drew
February 24, 2011
My first meeting with young Barack Obama raised strong feelings and left me with a positive first impression. At the time, I felt I'd persuaded a young man anticipating a Marxist-Leninist revolution to appreciate the more practical alternative of conventional politics as a channel for his socialist views.
I met Obama in December of 1980, a couple of days after Christmas, in Portola Valley -- a small town near Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. I was a 23 year old second-year graduate student in Cornell's Government Department, and had flown to California to visit a 21 year old girlfriend, Caroline Boss. Boss was a senior at Occidental College, where she had taken a class in the fall of 1980 with political theorist Roger Boesche. She met and befriended Obama in that class.
I had been an angry Marxist revolutionary during my undergraduate career at Occidental College. During my hyperactive sophomore year, in the fall of 1976, I founded the Marxist-Socialist group on campus and named it the Political Awareness Fellowship. As I recall, I developed this innocuous sounding name because there were so few students on campus as radical as I, and I was fearful of turning off moderate students who might be willing to learn more about Marxist theory.