Washington Post’s David Maraniss Verifies Obama in SF Area In Time for Marxist Debate Back in 1980
In Barack Obama: The Story, David Maraniss writes young Barack Obama was in the San Francisco area during his Christmas break from Occidental College in 1980. As the only person in the world willing to verify young Obama was an ardent Marxist socialist extremist, I am pleased Maraniss – a Washington Post associate editor, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and the co-author of Tell Newt to Shut Up! – provides a clear, compelling and independent verification of a key element of my story – that I first confronted young Obama’s radicalism at the home of Caroline Boss in Portola Valley – a small city outside of Palo Alto and just beneath San Francisco.
This verification is especially since it comes from a liberal author who has otherwise minimized young Obama’s ties to radical ideologues like Obama’s Communist mentor Frank Marshall Davis, Chicago socialist politician Alice Palmer or our nation’s number one unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers. Ronald Kessler began the work of verifying my face-to-face confrontation of young Obama’s naïve faith in an inevitable Communist revolution in a NewsMax article titled “Obama Espoused Radical Views in College” on February 8, 2010. Back then, Kessler sought to make contact with President Obama and two of his fellow Occidental students who witnessed that debate including Obama’s sophomore year roommate, Hasan Chandoo, and my college era girlfriend, Caroline Boss. Both Boss and the White House wisely declined to comment on Kessler’s article. Chandoo, however, verified the debate took place and added his own spin to soften the damage my story did to President Obama’s reputation as a pragmatic centrist.
In retrospect, I think what is most startling to me is that Maraniss did not bother to interview me but nevertheless verified key portions of my testimony in Barack Obama: The Story. Maraniss confirmed Obama’s whereabouts at Christmas break 1980, confirmed Chandoo’s Marxist credentials, and confirmed both that Boss was a socialist and that she was Obama’s inspiration for the composite character Regina in Dreams from My Father. (Boss’s working class Swiss grandmother was named Regina.)
Given the way my report on young Obama’s ideological extremism has endured the test of time, I would think Maraniss would be eager to interview a fellow like me – a published author and a political scientist – to get more details about the exact specifications of young Obama’s political views. After all, other authors have reported my story in their books including Michael Savage’s Trickle Up Poverty, Stanley Kurtz’s Radical-In-Chief, Jack Cashill’s Deconstructing Obama and most recently Paul Kengor’s The Communist – Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.
The gist of my story is that I had been romantically involved with the Marxist Caroline Boss starting in the Spring of 1979 when I graduated from Occidental until the Spring of 1981 when she graduated from Occidental. At the time I met young Obama, Boss was serving as the co-president of the Democrat Socialist Alliance (DSA) at Occidental. As I had done the previous Christmas break, I had flown back to see Boss during the holidays in 1980. As evidence of this significant relationship, I still have a number of cards and letters from her and the attached picture of me and Boss. It shows what we looked like as a young couple in 1981.
My side of the story is that after a year and a half of study in political science at Cornell University, I no longer believed it was plausible to anticipate a Communist revolution in the United States. Moreover, I no longer thought it feasible to eliminate the profit motive from a modern economy. Given my new evidence-based insight, I thought I was doing Boss, Obama and Chandoo all a great favor when I confronted their belief in an inevitable Communist revolution. My goal of enlightening my friends backfired with both Boss and Obama strenuously objecting to my argument.
I am sure Maraniss realizes my face-to-face testimony makes it perfectly clear that young Obama was not to the ideological right of Boss and Chandoo – as Maraniss writes – but instead completely shared his undergraduate friend’s radical, revolutionary ideology. Accordingly, I think Maraniss inadvertently did grave damage to Obama’s carefully protected reputation as a pragmatic centrist. He did that by simply verifying that the young Obama was in northern California at the exact the time when I reported that I had confronted Obama’s absurd faith in an inevitable Communist revolution.