Sam Graham-Felse

Sen. Barack Obama’s official campaign blogger was a self-proclaimed student of Karl Marx as an undergraduate at Harvard who proudly displayed a Soviet communist flag in his dorm room.

Sam Graham-Felsen, after graduating from Harvard in 2003, published an article in an avowedly socialist magazine that expressed sympathy for the 2006 Paris street riots, which he observed in person. He has posted dozens of comments and articles on the blog of the leftist publication The Nation.

Behind the bar in his Quincy House suite at Harvard, Graham-Felsen hung a Communist Party flag that he and a roommate brought back from Russia, according to an article published in the Harvard Crimson when he was a senior.

The Crimson article also noted Graham-Felsen’s bookcase in the Quincy house dorm included titles by Karl Marx and Howard Zinn, the socialist political science professor at Boston University known for his anti-American history texts and his extreme anti-war protest activity.

Graham-Felsen told the Crimson he emulated his father, Michael D. Felsen, a 1971 Harvard graduate, “who protested outside University Hall during the 1969 takeover.”

The Crimson noted, “Sam grew up with stories of his father’s refusal to walk across the stage at his own Commencement and his subsequent move to a commune. As a labor lawyer, he came to the Yard to advise members of the Progressive Student Labor Movement (PSLM) before their own three-week-long occupation of Massachusetts Hall in the spring of 2001.”

Writing in a Harvard Crimson blog in his senior year, Graham-Felsen described meeting radical MIT professor and author Noam Chomsky as “a life changing experience” that left him feeling “as though I had been through the Matrix and back.”

Graham-Felsen advised Chomsky to “tone his message down” so as “to convince Americans.”

He argued that “even if [Chomsky] is waiting for Americans to rise up in mass movements, he’s not going to spark widespread protest unless he can get more people to embrace his message.”

Writing in Socialist Viewpoint in the May/June 2006 issue, Graham-Felsen discussed a trip to Paris in which he participated in leftist street riots protesting a controversial employment law designed to facilitate the ability of French companies to fire workers under 26 years old.

“I just returned from Paris,” he wrote, “where I spent four days with the leaders of the student movement against the new employment law. I got a bird’s eye view of the whole operation, and I’d like to clarify a few things that the mainstream media has gotten completely wrong.”

According to the Guardian, the street violence in Paris in March 2006 lasted a week and involved protesters who covered their faces with tracksuit hoods and scarves, and came armed with baseball bats, wooden sticks and metal bars.

The protesters rioted, smashing shop windows and setting cars afire.

The only part of the story that went largely unreported by the mainstream media was that much of the violence involved young Islamic immigrants from Africa, who lived in suburb tenements and were typically unemployed.

Graham-Felsen argued the street violence had nothing to do with “the movement,” but involved kids who “just wanted to smash things and clash with the police.”

“The story is that 1 million young people took to the streets to fight for their future,” Graham-Felsen argued. “This is not a white, middle-class movement: The MSM (mainstream media), especially the Times, has painted these kids as uppity, white college students protecting their own interests. This is not the case at all. The kids from the suburbs – who are largely poor black and Arab kids – were out in full force.”

The Socialist Viewpoint is a magazine published by the Socialist Workers Organization, a group that describes itself as “formed to advance the revolutionary Marxist political program in the United States. Our members are long time active participants in the socialist and labor movements. We agree with Karl Marx that society is divided into social classes whose interests are irreconcilable.”

In a posting on the Nation written Nov. 18, 2006, Graham-Felsen called Obama “the political superstar of the moment – and perhaps ever – for Generation Y.”

Writing in the Nation Feb. 1, 2007, he declared Obama “can now be considered the major anti-war candidate,” after the Illinois senator gave a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate calling for a removal of all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008, and calling the war in Iraq a civil war

Graham-Felsen’s communist background was first explored by blogger “Common Ills.”

Little Green Footballs has called Graham-Felsen “a hardcore Marxist.”

Blogger Warner Todd Huston, writing on, observes that Graham-Felsen is “another Obama associate who seems to hate what most Americans love.”

To interview Aaron Klein, contact M. Sliwa Public Relations by e-mail, or call 973-272-2861 or 212-202-4453.


Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.