As Matt explains,
"Obama isn't just a liberal, he's to the left of the only declared socialist in the US Senate!
What shall we use as a measuring stick? How about a politician who is a declared socialist? There is one in the United States Senate and his name is Bernie Sanders. The National Journal has Sanders ranked #4 in 2007. Barack Obama was top of the class. But it might interest you to know who else was "to the left" of the socialist. Barack Obama chose him to be his running mate: Joe Biden finished third. Even George Voinovich gets this one:
"There's a guy in the senate, Bernie Sanders" said Voinovich, "who brags about being a socialist. And if you compare Barack Obama's record with Bernie Sanders' record, they're not too far apart."
Obama's response to Joe the Plumber's question about why Obama wanted to punish him if he were to achieve the American Dream and achieve success was that he wanted to "spread the wealth around." If that isn't a restatement of the socialist doctrine of redistribution of wealth, I don't know what is."