Though he's attempted, generally successfully, to portray himself publicly as a messenger of hope and moderation, Barack Obama is in all likelihood the most Leftist presidential candidate in our nation's history.
His association and involvement with William Ayers' social engineering education initiatives and his own statements on the use of the courts to redistribute wealth show the coming of age of the political Left in American politics. What has percolated in our universities and elites circles is now coming to full bloom in mainstream politics.
Obama's success, despite his radical political views, can be attributed to his rhetoric and reticence to aggressively advocate for some of the positions he's voiced in the past. His recent rhetoric on guns, death penalty, offshore oil drilling and even abortion suggests he realizes the American people aren't where the Left is at. He is by nature not an aggressive risk taker, much more calculating and deliberate. Yet a Democrat controlled Congress, led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, will no doubt force his hand on many issues he may agree with but realizes they maybe going too far too fast.
He will ultimately, as Pat Buchanan has noted, do battle with his own party or the American people.