Barack Obama, Socialist? Part II

We wrote here about Barack Obama’s ties to the New Party during the 1990s. The New Party was a far-left organization founded by members of the Democratic Socialists of America and other extremists. It not only endorsed Obama in his 1996 state Senate race, but, when Obama won, wrote that he was an “NP member.” To my knowledge, no mainstream reporter or news outlet has asked Obama whether he was, as the New Party wrote, a member of that organization, or whether he subscribed to the New Party’s far left–it’s fair to say “socialist”–platform.

Some Obama supporters have denied that he was in fact a New Party member, although I don’t think Obama himself has commented. Now a New Zealand web site called New Zeal has dug up a wealth of information on the New Party, including a second claim by the New Party that Obama was a member. This is from the Spring 1996 edition of New Party News:

New Party members won three other primaries this Spring in Chicago: Barack Obama (State Senate), Michael Chandler (Democratic Party Committee) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary)…”these victories prove that small ‘d’ democracy can work” said Obama.

This photo was on the front page of that issue of New Party News:

The photo’s caption can be construed as creating ambiguity about whether Obama was a Party member or only an endorsed candidate:

Winners! NP-endorsed candidates Patricia Martin (far left), Danny Davis (center), and Barack Obama (far right), celebrate with Chicago New Party members Ted Thomas and Ruth Schools after their victories in the Democratic primary last month.

Taken together, the evidence strongly suggests that Barack Obama was a member of the New Party in the 1990s. At a bare minimum, he was endorsed by the New Party, worked with New Party members and attended New Party events. Given the radicalism of the New Party’s program, it is hard to understand how any interviewer could fail to ask Obama about his association with the group.

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