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.
Since I was a Marxist myself at the time, and had studied variations in Marxist theory, I can state that everything I heard Obama argue that evening was consistent with Marxist philosophy, including the ideas that class struggle was leading to an inevitable revolution and that an elite group of revolutionaries was needed to lead the effort. If he had not been a true Marxist-Leninist, I would have noticed and remembered. I can still, with some degree of ideological precision, identify which students at Occidental College were radicals and which ones were not. I can do the same thing for the Occidental College professors at that time.