December of 1980 was about 4 months before the first space shuttle mission. I believe that I was living in Arizona at the time (though that has little to do with anything, now that I think about it).
John Drew relates the details of his first meeting with the man who would become the 44th president of the United States:
My first meeting with young Barack Obama raised strong feelings and left me with a positive first impression. At the time, I felt I’d persuaded a young man anticipating a Marxist-Leninist revolution to appreciate the more practical alternative of conventional politics as a channel for his socialist views.
Go, read it all. It is unlikely to change your opinion of the President–whatever that may be–but the article does provide some needed history.