Obama claims that
the notion that … me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn’t make much sense.”
USA Today’s mentions very casual contact between Obama and Ayers:
How their paths crossed
When Obama was asked about Ayers in an April debate, he said, “the notion that … me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn’t make much sense.”
After that debate, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley released a statement saying he doesn’t condone what Ayers did in the 1960s. “It was a difficult time, but those days are long over,” he said.
Ayers and Obama have moved in some of the same circles:
•In 1995, Ayers hosted a brunch for Obama, who was running for the Illinois Senate.
The ad says this meeting launched Obama’s political career. Quentin Young, a physician who was there, says it was a typical Hyde Park event and to imply otherwise is “guilt by simultaneously being in the same place.”
•In 1997, they were on a juvenile justice panel sponsored by the University of Chicago. They were on a 2002 panel on intellectualism that was co-sponsored by the Chicago Public Library.
•In 1997, the Chicago Tribune published a blurb from Obama about books he was reading. Obama said he was reading Ayers’ A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court.
•From 1999-2002, both men were on the board of the Woods Fund, a Chicago foundation that makes grants to arts and civic groups. Obama left the board in 2002; Ayers remains on it.
When Obama made his first run for political office, articles in both the Chicago Defender and the Hyde Park Herald featured among his qualifications his position as chairman of the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a foundation where Ayers was a founder and guiding force. Obama assumed the Annenberg board chairmanship only months before his first run for office, and almost certainly received the job at the behest of Bill Ayers. During Obama’s time as Annenberg board chairman, Ayers’s own education projects received substantial funding. Indeed, during its first year, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge struggled with significant concerns about possible conflicts of interest. With a writ to aid Chicago’s public schools, the Annenberg challenge played a deeply political role in Chicago’s education wars, and as Annenberg board chairman, Obama clearly aligned himself with Ayers’s radical views on education issues. With Obama heading up the board and Ayers heading up the other key operating body of the Annenberg Challenge, the two would necessarily have had a close working relationship for years (therefore “exchanging ideas on a regular basis”). So when Ayers and Dorhn hosted that kickoff for the first Obama campaign, it was not a random happenstance, but merely further evidence of a close and ongoing political partnership. Of course, all of this clearly contradicts Obama’s dismissal of the significance of his relationship with Ayers.
Obama’s links to Ayers are being whitewashed.
In last Friday’s podcast Ed Morrissey, Rick Moran, Shane Borgess, Siggy and I talked about the Obama-Ayers connection. The Obamas and the Ayers/Dorn go back to 1987 when Michelle Obama and Bernadette Dorn worked at the same law firm in Chicago, as Rick pointed out during the podcast.
There is no doubt that Obama is trying very hard to hide the extent of his bonds with Ayers, an unrepentant terrorist. In what may turn out to be his biggest goof yet, he’s even asking the DOJ to stop the ads from running:
Obama’s campaign has written the Department of Justice demanding a criminal investigation of the “American Issues Project,” the vehicle through which Dallas investor Harold Simmons is financing the advertisements. The Obama campaign — and tens of thousands of supporters — also is pressuring television networks and affiliates to reject the ads.
And the Obama-Ayers story doesn’t even begin to touch OBAMA’S COMPLICATED DANCE WITH THE CHICAGO MACHINE, and the company Obama keeps.