Those of us that went through universities can easily remember the wild-eyed radicals that we encountered. They believed in Marx more than the Soviet Politibureau did. If they weren't Marxists, they were often completely irrational anarchists or black nationalists. I spent many an afternoon at the University of Iowa "Soap Box Sound-off" arguing with them. These goofballs seemed real on campus, but as we grew up and went on to other things in life, their crackpot pronouncements seemed more and more remote from our lives and the reality that we lived in.
Barrack Obama never left those days. His autobiography opens describes his infatuation with leftist radicalism. His "community organizing" days were simply the campus radical let loose on the guilible folks willing to blame everyone else for their problems. His rise to big city politics was steeped in the university and black nationalist communities. He sought out Rev. Wright where he, his wife and young children got the same black nationalist, anti-American rants. Obama studied those sermons when he left for law school. When he entered politics, he did so by first having a meeting in an unrepentant domestic terrorist's home. More on Ayres here and here. [Citations only used for underlying facts asserted or linked in the sources. Facts which have not been debunked or refuted].
No one should be surprised that President Obama thought that hiring a black nationalist, former Marxist, 9-11 conspiracy nut was anything unusual. Obama's pastor had preached for years that AIDs was invented by white people to kill blacks. Obama took his young daughters to that church and when he was away in Washington in his short US Senate term, his wife boasted that she and the girls did not miss a Sunday. Barrack Obama never left the naive and unbalanced world of university radicals.
Honestly, a white politician with half of that type of history would never have been elected to any state-wide office. Because of his race, we cannot talk about his own politicization of race. Because he happens to be black, he has been given a pass on anything in his history that does not fit the liberal "narrative" so successfully spun in the campaign.
However, in governing the truth is inching its way out. From the Skip Gates' incident to Van Jones, Obama is gradually having seem for what he is..... an inexperienced glib self-promoter that cannot take criticism well, whose default position is right back there with the old campus radicals. Obama and his advisors know that they cannot or at least should avoid openly describing their views. They know it is important to stick to the narrative. It's even Alinsky's book on radical organizing, i.e. use the other side's terms and frame of reference to keep people confused.
How many times in private conversations within the Obama circle do you think someone said something like Van Jones or Rev. Wright to be met with a smile and a reassuring "yes, we know, but you cannot say that publicly now."
No one, but God, can look into a man's soul, so we will never know how much of this radicalism Barrack Obama truly believes or how much he tolerates where it helps him politically with his base. But any serious politician above the city ward level would have long ago joined the rest of us in leaving the univeristy goofball radicals behind us.