Obama And Ayers: The View From Hyde Park
October 11, 2008
In view of the truly despicable efforts, by Sarah Palin and others, to discredit Barack Obama by association, I thought that it might be appropriate to repost a relevant post of mine from this past April. I would add that some of the recent personal attacks fall outside the bounds of decency. Consider, for example, this statement: "This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America. Our opponent is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.
Are The Ayers Attacks Working?
October 09, 2008
Bill Ayers' Wikipedia entry has been accessed between 49,500 and 96,000 times over each of the past five days, as the McCain campaign has sought to stress the linkages between Barack Obama and the former Weather Underground frontman. This is a high figure; Jeremiah Wright, at his peak, was getting about 38,500 hits per day; Obama and McCain themselves are generally in the high five figures or very low six figures.
Mccain's Ayers Fib
October 09, 2008
I hardly want to be in the position of defending Bill Ayers but it's just not true, as McCain stated today, that Ayers "still, at least on Sept. 11, 2001, said he still wanted to bomb more." That really would be grounds for.... punitive measures, let's say. And it might make Obama's continued, if fairly distant, association with Ayers a good bit harder to comprehend. But the fact is that while Ayers did tell the New York Times "I don't regret setting bombs" and "I feel we didn't do enough," in September '01, he said those things prior to 9/11.
Well, That's One Way To Talk About Ayers
October 08, 2008
Jonathan Martin notes that the McCain campaign's position on Bill Ayers is not that McCain won't talk about him. Rather, McCain won't talk about Ayers, unless he's asked about Ayers. Which is presumably why McCain sat down for an interview with Sean Hannity this afternoon and, as Jonathan reports, "responded with gusto to an Ayers question." Tomorrow, McCain will start wearing a sandwich board that reads "Ask Me About Bill Ayers." --Jason Zengerle
More On The Dog That Didn't Bark
October 08, 2008
As Mike and many others have pointed out, Bill Ayers was curiously absent from last night's debate. Part of the reason may be the ever-worsening economic situation, which makes Ayers-talk sound a little dissonant. Part of it may be McCain's unwillingness to flush his last ounce of honor down the toilet. But I have to think part of it was Obama opening up his trench coat and pointing to a shiny-looking firearm--i.e., the Keating video. Jason and I were pretty down on the Obama campaign for its timing on that. But, in retrospect, it may have produced the desired deterrent effect.
527 Watch: Judicial Confirmation Network
October 02, 2008
An organization called the Judicial Confirmation Network has a new ad up linking Barack Obama to Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, and Jeremiah Wright. Oddly, the group is not a 527. Rather, they're a "judicial confirmation war room" that publicly consists of two employees, a post box, and a website.
Kurtz's Obama-ayers Fishing Expedition Comes Up Empty
September 23, 2008
I almost feel sorry for Stanley Kurtz. Last month the conservative writer was making a big stink that, in the course of researaching Barack Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers, the University of Illinois at Chicago library had denied him access to "the internal files" of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which was a nonprofit educational group both men were affiliated with in the 1990s. Kurtz protested: The records in question are extensive, consisting of 132 boxes, containing 947 file folders, a total of about 70 linear feet of material.
More On The Ayers Ads
August 28, 2008
Yesterday I ran into a well-known Democratic activist who pays close attention to the ad wars. I told him my theory that while the media obsesses over convention stagecraft the election is being defined for voters in critical swing states by those 527 attack ads linking Obama to Bill Ayers and thus--ludicrously--to 9/11. He scoffed. His research, he told me, showed that the ad buy has been overblown, so far totalling less than $500,000. So maybe this concern is overstated. On the other hand, summer's not even over yet and I'm sure we can expect plenty more of this stuff.
Silly Season: Ayers, Obama, And Hyde Park
April 17, 2008
Of the many ludicrous political discussions of the last six months, the most ludicrous may well be the discussion of the alleged association between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers, former member of the Weather Underground. Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, have lived in the Hyde Park area in Chicago. So has Barack Obama. (So have I.) If you lived in Hyde Park for (say) a decade, there was a good chance that you'd run across Ayers, and maybe even be at a social occasion with him.
Quickie Debate Thoughts
April 17, 2008
Like almost everyone else (I assume) who saw the debate, I thought Obama was flat and off-balance for most of the night. His answers were usually correct if lacking in conviction the first time through. But he frequently made the mistake of doubling back and undercutting himself--the kind of thing people do when they're exhausted.