Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

McCain misleading public in role Ayers played in Obama political career


WASHINGTON--Barack Obama continues to be attacked by John McCain and other Republicans for his relationship with Bill Ayers, the former terrorist turned respected Chicago educator. Obama served on civic boards with Ayers and Ayers held a coffee for Obama when Obama first ran for a state senate seat in 1995. McCain said he may bring up Ayers at the third and final presidential debate Wednesday night.

Obama said McCain--running ads featuring Ayers with Sarah Palin making him an issue on the stump--never said anything to his face. Ayers did not came up in the first two presidential debates. If McCain continues to insist that Obama launched his political career from Ayers' Hyde Park living room, he is misleading the public by overplaying the size and significance of Ayers' early support.

*Obama's campaign really was launched when he got the backing of then state Sen. Alice Palmer (D-Chicago), who wanted him to replace her as she was planning a run for Congress. Palmer's backing gave him entrée into local influential political circles.

Obama and Palmer would later have a falling out that continues to this day. Palmer changed her mind and decided to run for re-election after all. Obama got Palmer and his other rivals knocked off the ballot. Palmer ended up backing Hillary Rodham Clinton's Democratic primary bid.

*Obama's formal kick-off to announce his run for state senate was at the Hyde Park Ramada Inn on Sept. 19, 1995. Obama was introduced by Palmer in a room filled with supporters at the Ramada, fronting Lake Michigan on South Lake Shore Drive, a stroll from the Museum of Science and Industry.

*Around this time, Obama started to attend a series of coffees in the Hyde Park community where he lived, standard operating procedure for political rookies running in the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Chicago.

"I was certainly (hosting) one of the first," said Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf, rabbi emeritus at Chicago's KAM Isaiah Israel--located across the street from the Obama home.

"There were several every week," he recalled on Tuesday night when we spoke. "I remember what I said to him: 'Someday you are going to be vice president of the United States.' He laughed and said, 'Why not president?'''

*The Ackermans, Sam and Martha, longtime Hyde Park activists in independent Democratic politics, also held an early event for Obama in their condo on E. Hyde Park Boulevard. (They have since divorced.)

Sam Ackerman told me Tuesday when we exchanged e-mails that "as I recall, the event at Bill Ayers' house (prior to ours) was a fund-raiser for Alice's congressional campaign at which she also introduced Barack as the successor she would like to see elected."

If Ackerman's recollection is correct--that the event at Ayers home was really for Palmer and Obama just piggy backed on it--then any argument that the Obama's political career was launched in the Ayers home is moot.

Martha and I talked on Tuesday night and she said she was not sure if the coffee at their condo for about 20 people was before or after Obama's Ramada Inn announcement.

"As a starter, I know that Barack went to Alice Palmer," Martha Ackerman told me. "...Then the question was, 'how do you go about doing this in the Hyde Park way," she said, a reference to the personal touch needed in the Hyde Park- Kenwood neighborhoods, at the time immune to the dictates of the remnants of the Chicago machine and Mayor Daley's City Hall.

"...the way to launch the campaign was to have coffee, and not one coffee, as in 'this is the start of everything.' Barack went around to a number of people and requested that they hold coffees for him."

But the Ackerman's did not want to host an event for Obama without meeting him first. So he came over to their house and spent more than an hour with the couple.

When Obama left, "I said to Sam, 'this guy could be the first African American president of the United States."

Martha Ackerman said, "I know there were a number of coffees. It wasn't just one or two."


We all know that McCain is doing all that he can to win, John McCain is a good man he just in the wrong party, and I think that McCain now can see that....McCain keep repeating it himself on how we need a change of party leadership because of how the way American it going right now, and he no that his party is the reason for all of it, And he can feel the people pain so he trying to win any way he can.

"McCain misleading public" seems to sum up the whole McCain Campaign.

so, it was a palmer meeting that he piggybacked on-how does that change what occurred at the meeting or who hosted it? how does it address all the later contacts between the two? that, of course, would require actual reporting, not simply parroting what obama backers tell you.

To the point that Obama may/may not have started his political career in Ayer's home - fine. I don't care either way.

What I do care about is how Obama has re-dressed his responses to the Ayers question.

Initially, Ayers was some guy in the neighborhood, and now it's morphed into Obama thinking that Ayers was rehabilitated. Ever after Ayers made public comments that he wished that he'd done more.

I'm curious as to what Obama's next answer will be.

The pattern of responses from Obama regarding his past is troubling and draws his judgment into question.

So, yeah ... McCain may be misleading the public as to the specific detail of the initiation of Obama's political career, and that's bad.

What's worse is that Obama follows the typical Chicago political answer-response two-step.

Change, indeed.

Thank you!

Finally someone is doing some real reporting on the Obama/Ayers connection, and not the hatchet job that Fix News has been consumed with.

My comments seem peculiarly out of touch in Chicago.

Ms. Sweet,

The only fact about Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers that is of any interest to me is why did Obama say Ayers was just some guy in his neighborhood? Barak Obama discounted his ties to Bill Ayers.

After archives were opened, it is clear that neighborhood guy enabled at least 50 million dollors worth of educational programs to be distriibuted by Obama throughout Chicago and Illinois for over 7 years.

This means there was a very close relationship.

Since Obama was hiding the relationship until found out, why? Some people say the only difference between Bill Ayers and Timothy McVeigh is body count and an illegal wiretap.

The intellectual pursuit of honesty requires an examination of the key question, why did Obama lie about this relationship? Are there any other relationships he wants to keep unknown , and why?

T.J. Fod

I really like the work you do on MSNBC. I think you are fair and intelligent. Maybe you can tell me why Pat Buchanan is allowed to spew his ridiculous views all over MSNBC. This morning despite the negative polls for Palin he continues to talk about how she added 10 points to the Republicans when she was put on the ticket. What a jerk!

I really like the work you do on MSNBC. I think you are fair and intelligent. Maybe you can tell me why Pat Buchanan is allowed to spew his ridiculous views all over MSNBC. This morning despite the negative polls for Palin he continues to talk about how she added 10 points to the Republicans when she was put on the ticket. What a jerk!

I cannot see why Obama supporters believe it is inappropriate to question the relationship Obama has had with individuals and organizations over the years.

One's past associations are important to knowing about an individual and his beliefs. It is especially important regarding a person who might become President.

I fail to see why it is not important to find out everything about Obama's relationships with Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Pfleger and ACORN.

It appears that Barack Obama has failed to tell us everything about these relationships and the press has not done it's job at all.

I do wish the media had asked the difficult questions but I guess that is too much to ask when they are smitten!

Oh please. Lynn sweet is trying to downplay Ayers and Obamas dreams of destroying America. She is part of the machine that created the monstrosity known as Obama.

i cannot understand just why the media is ONLY focused on Obama's associations. The associations of ALL the candidates should be in question - that is the only FAIR thing to do!

What about the Palin's association with the AIP and its anti-American founder who 'hated America'? The Palin's were members, for heavens sake! And Palin herself came out in support of the AIP! This makes her guilty of Sedition! And Palin's latest - GUILTY of an ETHICS violation! But does the media report on THESE things? NO!!!

McCain's chief adviser worked for Sadam Hussein!!!! And let's not forget Gordon Liddy, and the Keating 5 - whom Cindy McCain kept up a relationship with even AFTER McCain was cited for an Ethics violation for HIS part in it! Why is the media not doing reports on THESE things?


Was Bill Ayers ever convicted? No! Were McCain's friends and supporters, Charles Keating, G. Gordon Liddy or Oliver North ever convicted? Yes!

First, the Obama quote about Ayers "he's a guy from my neighborhood" is not the complete quote. It begins an explanation that includes Obama's other connections to Ayers and the context of those connections.

Second, Ayers did not enable Obama to distribute millions in eductional funds. The (Republican-related) Annenburg Foundation, which Obama chaired, did. Ayers particpated in the fund -- he did not dole out the money. It is clear that Obama knew and spoke to Ayers -- but there is nothing that demonstrates they were frineds, Obama relied on Ayers for anything more than the foundation required.

Finally, let us all admit reality: there can be no answers to the questions the Right lobs about Bill Ayers and Obama, because, as demonstrated above, they keep twisting the questions. Ayers is just a guy from the neighborhood. I'm from the neighborhood; I could answer that I know Bill and Bernadine "from the neighborhood." But, Chicago is a place with less than 6 degrees of separation; it's more like 2 degrees of separation , especially on the South Side. I kind of know them from other places as well -- my kids school my job, etc. I have 'bumped' into Bill and Bernadine a few times in the last 20 years. I'm about 10 yrs older than Barack -- I even remember them from the turbulent 60s/70s. I vociferously opposed the Weathermen then and I have frequently criticized them now. I also know a lot of liberatrians and Federalist society folk and (gasp) right wing Republicans. I am more friendly with those sorts than I am with Bill Ayers. What does that make me? A big supporter of Barack Obama, for one.

Ayers does not work for Obama's Campaign - but Timmons, McCain's transition adviser, did work as a lobbyist, for Saddam Hussein...why doesn't someone have McCain explain his association? Or his wife's continued association with the Keating 5? Or Palin's support of AIP - founded by a man who hates America?

Funny how it is ONLY Obama who is being pushed to explain! Fair media??????

If you ask these questions about Barack then you should ask the same about John McCain. He has had associations to people who have done somethings I am sure that John does not believe in. Why does he not answer some questions about Libby or the Keating Five. Some may say he has but the point is if it is judgment you question then it seems that John showed poor judgment also. Lets keep it fair.

Is it true that Obama's campaign benefited from 50 million dollars as a result of his association with Ayers? If so, I too feel he must have had a very close relationship with Ayers - and this should be investigated further. GM.

I media needs to probe more on the question of Obama's association with Ayers, Reverand Wright and others. We know so little about Obama. I would like to see the media probe deeper.

As at now, Ayers is a distinguished professor of education reform, and a long time ago, a domestic no-gooder.

only if Obama wouldnt have made that one little
mistake.he would have pulled of a flawless
sleeper cell.

He did not only say he was just a guy in the neighborhood. He said I worked on a board with him. His description of the relationship has been shorter, but not different from the description above.

Obama and Ayers first "documented" meeting was in 1992 at a forum set up by Michelle Obama. She of course worked with Bernadine Dohrn in 88 and 89. But Obama and Ayers were both affiliated with another group earlier than that...

"Obama's joint service with Ayers on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, (and CAC) a couple of appearances with Ayers on academic panels, and what the New York Times called Obama's "rave review" of Ayers's book on juvenile justice, which Obama dubbed "a searing and timely account" in the Chicago Tribune."

"Illinois blended sentencing bill was introduced in 1997, both Obama and Bernardine Dohrn were cited by the Chicago Sun-Times as key local critics of the bill."

Rashid Khalidi- friend to both Obama and Ayers received several grants from the Woods Fund for the AAAN- They want driver licenses for illegal immigrants -- DO YOU CALL THAT MAINSTREAM??? Mona Khalidi and friend Ali Abunimah is on that board too.

Obama and Ayers both spoke at a dinner for Khalidi when he left Chicago to go to Columbia in NY. Obama says he's enjoyed dinners and conversations with the Khalidis. One has to wonder if mutual friend Ayers was present at those dinners on some occasions.

danng mccain will do anything too win and i think that he is wrong cause were is theproof and how couled he say somthing like tht with out it i think it is stupied the onley reason he said that is because he knows that obama is gonna be out president so he is tryin too descriminate the people with a lie so he can win the election


If having coffee with a crook in the room disqualifies you from being President then John McCain better step his sorry old self aside.

This is a total distraction made up by right wing nuts who hate progress and hate America. Talk about looking to the past! McCain and Palin are lying hypocrites. Obama did nothing wrong and is focused on the future. Go Obama Go.

In the 1960 Obama was how old? If Ayers is so bad why is he not in jail. It sad that people in America or not allowed to change for the better. We want to bring up everyones pass. Maybe I am a little different but i don't remember every meeting I have and with who. Does McCain. Like the meeting he had with his current wife while still married to first wife. I don't know who McCain is; but I know that it is not about Obama it about not understanding what is important to the American people.

If the Republicans could find something genuinely ugly in Obama's past they'd be smearing it over the air-waves.

The truth is that being on the board of a Republican kids-charity together with someone who was formerly a part of an evil gang 40 years ago is the most damning thing they can dig up. Well, that or his onetime preacher being a kook and a firebrand. This from the party of the Watergate Break-ins and the Iran-Contra deal and legalized torture.

When you're grasping for straws, reasons not to vote for the better man other than to admit it's 'cause he's black, no excuse is too faint.

That's how low Republicans have sunk.

There's a connection. In January 2001, Bill Clinton pardoned Weather Underground Organization members Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans, but he didn�t exactly advertise it. During the Vietnam War, while John McCain endured a North Vietnamese prison, a bearded �Slick Willie� also participated in "teach-ins," in the Soviet Union. He didn�t shout that from the rooftops either. While we played by the rules, WUO member William Ayers and others tinkered with explosives.

It was a good career move: lucrative teaching positions, generous grants, and political pardons were but a few perks that followed the still intact terrorists. When a candidate like Sarah Palin gets slammed for traditional values, and an unrepentant Bill Ayers gets lionized for acts of violence, it makes me know how far we've slid as a nation. In 1995, Bill Clinton would declare himself the �education president,� yet never mentions what he did in that capacity. The Russians have a saying: the fish rots from the head:

Give up on Ayers, folks. From WMTV in Portland:

Now a professor of education at the University of Illinois, Ayers helped author a grant application that eventually won $50 million from the Annenberg Foundation's Annenberg Challenge in 1995. Here's how Annenberg described the grants on its Web site:

"Grants ranging from $10 million to $53 million were awarded to sites in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, South Florida (encompassing Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties), and the Rural Challenge, which worked in hundreds of communities."

Lenore Annenberg is the president of the Annenberg Foundation, under whose wing the challenge grants were awarded. Her late husband and the former president of the foundation, Walter Annenberg, was once a U.S. ambassador and a close friend of former President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan. Walter died in 2002, and Lenore took over his leadership of the foundation.

During his lifetime he gave away millions of dollars, including $120 million each to the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Southern California for the establishment of communications schools, and $150 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, $50 million to the United Negro College Fund and $25 million to Harvard University.

On Oct 8, the McCain campaign issued a press release announcing the formation of a group dubbed Former U.S. Ambassadors For McCain-Palin. Lenore Annenberg is listed as "chief of protocol" for a group.

"These former ambassadors are outstanding men and women who have served their country in foreign lands with great distinction and devotion to the values we all hold dear. They have a deep knowledge of the challenges facing this country abroad as well as at home. I am honored by their endorsement,'" McCain said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

Annenberg also supports the Web site, which investigates campaign claims by politicians. On Oct. 10, had this to say about McCain's attempts to link Obama and Ayers:

"In a TV ad, McCain says Obama 'lied' about his association with William Ayers, a former bomb-setting, anti-war radical from the 1960s and '70s. We find McCain's claim to be groundless. New details have recently come to light, but nothing Obama said previously has been shown to be false."

He worked on the same board that donated money to the McCain campaign. So does that make McCain benefit from Ayers as well? People should read up on this information before they start listening to what McCain and Palin say. This is just a distraction to keep the media from bringing up anything on McCain or Palin.

Obama and Ayers worked together on a foundation owned by a Republican, who has now endorsed McCain. Many other Republicans worked with the same foundation.

What Ayers did was despicable, but he has since become an accepted part of the Chicago's establishment. If Republicans accepted him then, Obama followed their lead. Rather hypocritical to call him on it now.

If you really want a link to supporting terrorists, we can look no further than the man McCain has chosen to lead his transition team, William Timmons, who lobbied for Sadaam Hussein after the first Gulf War when he was considered a national enemy, and for personal profit.

I also like the attempt by Obama detractors to suggest that William Ayers is the ONLY relationship Obama has. Guess what? He also has relationships -- much stronger, much more influential relationships -- with University of Chicago economists. Seemed for awhile there we couldn't go a day without hearing about those. Now they seem not to exist.

University of Chicago economists -- yet another manifestation of Obama's crazy radical liberal agenda. Right?

I'm a God fearing Christian who loves my pastor dearly, although there are times I don't agree with all his teachings. I also feel that in order to understand the Black Church is to understand the role that Faith has played in our heritage. For as long as I can remember God has played a major role in my beliefs. When my grandmother wasn't sure how she was going to feed me and my three sisters because my mother had run off yet again and our fathers weren't anywhere to be found. She'd always say "the Lord will make a way".
When she worried about how she was going to keep the lights on she would call the pastor asking for a special prayer. We've always relied on God "to make a way out of no way". Our faith has been tested since the first ship arrived here from Africa. I'm grateful for my ancestors and all those that have come before me. I'm proud of my heritage, Senator Obama embodies the American Dream. He's a living testimony that you can come from a dysfunctional home, be brought up with the most humbling beginnings, knowing only what your mother tells you of your father, only to grow up and find out it all was a lie. Even with all of that this man has managed to pull himself up from what some may seem to think was no where and possibly be the next President of the United States.
Yes, he may have come across some shady individuals in his time, but who doesn't have a past? The important thing is what he learned from his past. As a person who grew up without knowing my father and my mother and I having a strained relationship, I know how easy it is to seek guidance and approval from the Church.
Reverend Wright has said some inflammatory things yes, but he was merely saying how he'd seen our country. I'm not saying I agree with him, but he did come from a time when America wasn't the most pleasant place to live.
Pat, not to start an argument by any means, but at least Senator Obama will talk to the media. Governor Palin at best will offer a wave as she pretends the press isn't there.
Our politicians aren't perfect there flawed like the rest of us. We're not going to agree with everything he or she has to say, but this is the system we have and we have to make it work for us. At the end of the day we're all American and we all have the right to have and form our own opinion. The Bible says "He without sin cast the first stone.", can any of us say we haven't made friendly with someone before completely knowing everything about them.
I'm going to close with this question: do you tell your new friends all your deepest darkest secrets when you first meet?
God Bless!

McCain's getting his @$$ handed to him :)

Why would America REWARD complete Republican failure ?

We wont.

A lot of the right's complaints about "not knowing enough about Obama" or aspects of his relationship with Ayers can be answered with a few minutes on Google.

It's sad how willfully ignorant some people are.

I've been to many school meetings, condo board meetings, etc. in my lifetime. I don't make it a habit to know the personal life histories of every member or participant in these meetings. It's quite possible Obama wasn't even aware of Bill Ayers past. I lived through the sixties and was very aware of what was going on back then. Ayers did not ring a bell with me until I heard his wife's name. Obama knew Ayers as a fellow board member and from all accounts did not have any kind of personal relationship with him outside of these meetings. To blow this up like the McCain campaign has done to make Obama look like a domestic terrorist defies basic common sense and in these troubled times, the electorate has much more important issues that need urgent attention. It's now too late for McCain to address the real problems that we face because he's wasted too much time and energy on this distraction.

There's a difference in working on a board with someone and "knowning" them and calling someone a "close personal friend",which is exactly what McCain calls G. Gordon Liddy and Charles Keating.

I don't think McCain or Palin could ever stand up to a debate over their character or ethics.

When will Obama come clean on WALNUT. This is scandal nobody talks about.

To all the undecides and stubborn unadmitted racist types, if you really have any questions about Senator Obama that have not been answered yet, I invite and implore you to visit the website at, to seek out the answers you say you want but don't bother to search for. The media as we know it is biased and tells half truths, and we all know that half the truth is a lie. We as Americans need to be told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help us God (that's how the courts put it). If you listen to the media whole heartedly and expect to be told the whole truth then any excuse will do for you. Frankly, that's what the media is banking on and that is usually what happens. It's time to stop and think for yourself not let the media alone influence your decisions afterall, aren't you intelligent enough to discern and decifer information that is given and sought after?

Ms. Sweet, with respect, your story is more misleading than anything McCain has said about Ayers. You cite Hyde Parker Sam Ackerman for the notion that the meeting at Ayers house was for Alice Palmer, and that Obama merely "piggy backed" on it.

But reporting by CNN's Drew Gress directly contradicts you on this point, and supports McCain. Gress reports that Palmer has denied that the meeting at Ayers' house was held for or organized by her. She merely attended the event. Gress also quotes another participant, Dr. Quentin Young, as saying that the meeting at Ayers' house was Obama's "political coming out party" and that it was hosted by Bill Ayers. The Gress piece, begining at around 4:02.

I think your sole reliance on Ackerman, and your failure to address the Gress reporting, or at the least to contact Palmer, does not reflect well on the accuracy of your own reporting. If you are going to accuse others of being "misleading," then you must do more than tell one side of a story.

I look forward to seeing your correction.

If you really want to know the truth, don't go to, that site tells his distorted side to the facts, just like his books do. University of Illinois records show that in the 1990's, Ayers was instrumental in starting the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, securing a $50 million grant to reform the Chicago Public Schools. Annenberg wanted to reform schools, but certainly not along the socialist lines intended by Bill Ayers, who sees Venezuela's system as a model and has a mutual admiration society going with Hugo Chavez. Obama's first known meeting with Ayers had to occur in Chicago in 1987. Ayers was an activist in the Alliance for Better Chicago Schools. Community organizer Obama's Developing Communities Project was a member of that alliance.The claim that Obama didnot know who Ayers was when he launched his political career in Ayers living room is bogus. Ayers was ans is a player in Chicago's radical left politics. So was Obama, who has a problem with the truth.

I'm so tired of the media pretending that Ayers is "just a neighbor" of the Obamas. There's a long association between Ayers and Obama, beginning with the CAC board. And how about exploring the fact that Bernadine Dohrn was with the Sidley Austin law firm, which is where Obama interned and where he met his future wife Michelle? And if you believe that Ayers is now an exemplary U.S. citizen, check out his statements on his website, Royko had it right when he noted that Ayers was wearing a T-shirt that read "America is like a melting pot: The people at the bottom get burned and the scum floats to the top" and commented, "That confirms something I've always believed about people like Ayers and his fellow well-born, well-bred suburban revolutionaries. Despite all their fine talk about helping the downtrodden, they had nothing but contempt for those at the bottom. They assumed that those who were born poor couldn't achieve anything without the leadership and teachings of bright people such as Bill Ayers. . ."

Ethics and honesty. Does anyone feel that these are important issues? Defending Obama by alleging McCain did something bad reminds me of grade school. "Timmy did it, too." I would have a better opinion of him if he apologized instead of make excuses or denials. Remember: "Would he fill out his 6 year term?" "Absolutely" and he wasn't going to start running for president. "If ...your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?" "Yes". If a contractor or business makes a promise and doesn't fulfill it he can be sued. Why are politicians exempt? He makes up stories about his senate banking committee bills and his working across the aisle. He's intelligent yet went to a church for 20 years before realizing that the preacher was a racist. "Ayers was just a guy in the neighborhood." Right. It'd be nice if Ms. Sweet reported what actually has occurred instead of making up excuses and fictional stories.

How old was Obama when his ally Bill Ayers was standing on the U. S. flag in 1991?

McCain has more than "palled around " with Gordon Liddy, a convicted felon, domestic terrorists and inciter, for his radio listeners, to assasinate AFT agents with head shots. The Obama campaign has obviously made a strategic move not to go there, but the MSM has shown its incompetence once again in ignoring McCain's close association to domestic terrorists, anit-semites, and bank felons.

Rezko? How about Donald Diamond? He profited from a bill, that mccain pushed and made 20 million $ of off it.
Wright? How about Hagee and Parsely? Hatemongers extreme.

Gimme a break here.

Hey Lynn,

One of these coffees was at the Ayres house correct?

Look, Obama's gonna win.

So, basically there are two possible results.

Alternative 1: Obama remains the deplorably cynical politician he has shown himself to be. You know:

--disowning Wright is like disowning my grandma, then under the bus
--public campaign funding for sure/oops! got millions more, won't use it now
--talk to leaders without preconditions/oops! didn't really say that

or Alternative 2: Obama in fact will shed the facade of centrist reasonableness and will bring to bear all of his Saul Alinsky/Community Organizer/Spread the Wealth/Socialistic/President of Europe sensibility to the Oval office.

So, Obama supporters, be careful what you wish for! Because it's either A or B, and nothing in between.

Last night obama had the chance to bring up the keating 5 but chose not to. Mccain had much more of a relationship with convicted Keating than Obama has had with Bill A. Obama knows people want answers to problems, not attacks on historical figures. Smart man-

For those of you who continue to sling arrows about "associations," what about McCain's ties to the U.S. Council for World Freedom, as The New Yorker calls it, "the American outpost of the World Anti-Communist League, a sort of clearing house for former Nazi collaborators, Central American death-squad leaders, and assorted international thugs."

What about the fact that McCain and his current wife are adulterers? What about Cindy McCain stealing drugs/controlled substances from her own charitable organization to feed her drug habit? Is this an argument that the MCCain campaign really wants to get further entreched into?

Bill Ayers being a college professor means nothing. He is still a terrorist. Now his bombs are the thoughts he plants in people's minds. He is teaching them to bring down their own country to the detriment of not only their lives but the children and grandchildren who will never get to live in a free America if Ayers wins his war through his pasty Obama.

Bill Ayers is a hateful, despicable person, as is his vile wife Bernadine Dohrn, who once declared her admiration for the Manson family.

They were leaders of the Weather Underground, that bombed the United States Capitol, the Pentagon, several police stations, including one in NYC, and the home of a New York State judge, where a 9 year old child was sleeping at the time. Fortunately he was not injured, but he was terrorized.

Barack Obama chose to attend a political function in their home while launching his political career, for reasons no one with any decency will ever understand. Who cares if it was "technically" the first! Are you all so jaded that you think that matters one bit?

He also served on several Boards with Ayers, over the years, including the Woods Fund, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and reportedly the Joyce Foundation. He was still serving with Ayers on the Woods Fund on the day 9/11 occurred, and thereafter. That very day, 9/11/2001, Bill Ayers was quoted in the NYT saying he wished he had done MORE bombing. He also had his photo taken standing on the American flag in a Chicago alley.

While at the CAC, the two of them -- Ayers and Obama -- ran the place. They spent $150 - $160 MILLION dollars, much of it on efforts to radicalize teachers, students and "local" board members. They presided over an effort to take control of the Chicago Schools, and neglected the Chicago school children.

In fact, the CAC evaluation - The Final Report - which was issued in 2003, the one which measured the performance of the work of the CAC, and was prepared by CAC's own Consortium of Chicago School Research, admitted that they completely failed to achieve their basic "bottom line" objective, which the Report says was "improving student achievement and other social and psychological outcomes."

The Report specifically that there were no academic achievement, or academic engagement benefits inuring to the Chicago school children as a result of the project.

None. Change? Or, Chump Change!

In answer to the "big" question, Obama should have said "Ayres is a terrorist guy who lives in my neighborhood." Now if he could have been honest by saying that, we wouldn't be talking about this now. The cover up of information always leads to far more problems than just being open and honest. Richard Nixon could confirm this if it were possible to ask him. If true, Obama might have said, "Yes, I knew that he had a shady past but I felt that we could do some good education work. I severed our relationship when he made those unfortunate hurtful comments on 9/11, and I haven't been in contact with him since." But that's not what happened, and that's not what he said, and now we have a problem because Obama has been far less than honest and open about this matter. His relationship with Ayres and his wife, two despicable unrepentant monsters disqualifies him due to his poor judgement. When combined with his other poor judgement calls, he gets a no vote. He's not guilty by association, he's guilty of bad judgement by association.

You people are so "misty-eyed" with Obama that you can't see what's disturbing about his associations. This man denounces all of the questionable business/professional/personal relationships by saying they "aren't what the america cares about" right now. will later. The communistic party has endorsed him as well as other upstanding leaders such as Castro. Why do you think that is? The wool has been repeatedly pulled over the eyes of those who want to blame the current party in the White House for everything (don't forget the other party controls the House and Senate-what a cluster f... that is). Nancy Pelosi needs to go as well as Barny Frank, etc, etc, etc.....Wake up America and start educating yourselves on what's really going on here...Socialism isn't a Democracy. Look it up in the dictionary and read a few other educational items.

I bet Lynn won't post my comment since it goes completely against what she stands for. Big surprise!! That's what the government controlled liberal media will do for us. Are we in China?

I worked with a guy for 5 years closely as a volunteer at a non profit gallery, one artist to another. curating shows, working late in the nights, early in the morning to get these shows open on schedule. One day he left town. i found out from somebody, he had sexually harassed a woman ,and the woman's husband is after him, so he left the state. I found out he had a long history of harassment, and even worse. I NEVER had an inkling that he was like this! True, he wasn't a terrorist, but to this feminist, he might as well have been! Does that make me a person who sexually harasses women? Does it mean I tolerate this behavior? NO! It means, I don't ask everybody for a full, police, credit, and health report of a person before i work with them, and most people, I would assume, don't...

No. Obama has been misleading us continuously about his connection with Ayers. To be precise, he's been LYING.

And YOU, madam are misleading us even further.

You, madam, are also a LIAR.

George Orwell knew people like you quite well. From "Homage to Catalonia": " was the first time that I had seen a person whose profession was telling lies - unless one counts journalists."


I was wondering why the comment I added a couple of days ago (appended below) was not posted. It's relevant, polite (not intended to offend), and not overly long. It was addressed to your attention, but I thought it was appropriate for posting also.

If your concern is that the final paragraph (starting with 'a final consideration') would offend the Ackermans, go ahead and remove it. I think it's a relevant point in seeking to reconstruct events given apparently discrepant descriptions, but perhaps you think it could hurt feelings.



Some elements of this account make sense, but not all.

That Obama formally announced his candidacy at the Ramada Inn (i.e. not at Ayers' home) seems a valid point.

But Ackerman's claim that the event at Ayers' home was a fundraiser for Palmer seems quite inconsistent with other accounts.

October 6, 2008 - CNN Anderson Cooper program - Drew Griffin: "Anderson, this meeting at Bill Ayers home has been classified in many different ways. What I can tell you from the two people who were actually there, is number one, former Senator Alice Palmer says she, in no way organized this meeting and she was invited and attended it briefly. And Doctor Quentin Young, a retired doctor, told us this indeed was Barack Obama's political coming out party and it was hosted by Bill Ayers."
Full CNN report

Maria Warren (one of the attendees at the 1995 meet-and-greet at Ayers' home), writing in her blog on January 27, 2005::
"When I first met Barack Obama, he was giving a standard, innocuous little talk in the living room of those two legends-in-their-own-minds, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. They were launching him--introducing him to the Hyde Park community as the best thing since sliced bread."

The claim that the event at Ayers' home was actually a fundraiser for Alice Palmer really doesn't jive with Alice Palmer's apparent statement that she wasn't involved in organizing the event, and attended only briefly. Also, if it was essentially a Palmer fundraiser, it seems unlikely that Quentin Young and Maria Warren would have described it as they did (as Obama's political coming out party, or as Ayers/Dohrn launching Obama).

Given that Sam Ackerman apparently recalls the event at Ayers' home being prior to Ackerman's coffee, and given the comments/descriptions of Alice Palmer, Quentin Young, and Maria Warren, the most plausible reconstruction would be - formal announcement at the Ramada Inn, then a launching in Hyde Park at the Ayers home, then subsequent coffees in Hyde Park.

A final consideration - the Ackermans' recollections of these events don't seem terribly clear, and they're presumably supporting Obama's Presidential candidacy. It's human nature under such circumstances to (earnestly) recall events in a manner that would benefit (or at least not harm) the individual you favor. That's particularly true in the case of someone like Obama, where, as Mendell wrote: "a trend that would follow Obama throughout his charmed personal life and into his political career - people going out of their way to clear a path for him to succeed."

For goodness sake -after 19 months of electioneering, how much more do you need to know about Obama? Strangely though, through the 19 months, I feel like I kept getting to know Obama better and better, and McCain less and less! Obama has shown a fairly consistent face, but McCain is like a chameleon! As for Bill Ayers, you can beat that horse as long as you like, it's dead already! I don't care if Obama launched his career in Ayers's house or not, I don't care what Eyers did 40 years ago, or whether Obama's and Ayers's children went to school together.

This is what I care about - they worked together on education issues for underpriviledged children, not on insurrection and bomb planting 101.

Do I think that through any interaction Ayers has influenced Obama to become a domestic terrorist or to do harm to his country? No.

Do I think Obama is going to put Ayers in charge of Homeland Security (or Education, for that matter)? No.

And that is where my interest in Ayers ends. Obama has a relationship with Ayers, no denying that. But it is with Ayers the social activist, professor in Education, community activist of now, not Ayers the bomb planting domestic terrorist of 40 years ago.

Let's see an unapologetic domestic terrorist turned college professor who said on 9/11 that he didn't bomb enough;stood on an American flag and said "guilty as hell-free as a bird" about the bombings; said that America made him want "to puke" is okay? This was all in 2001 not 40 years ago. This same Ayers worked closely on 2 boards, multiple workshops and held in his home the first fundraiser for a 40 not 8 year old Obama.

America is supposed to say "Oh well" and not to connect this to the character, judgment oand beliefs of Obama. He didn't do the bombings but it didn't affect his relationship with Ayers until Hillary noted it for America. Imagine if a Republican or Hillary were friends with Timothy McVeigh if he had able to get off on a technicaity as did Ayers.

You and apologists like yourself are classical examples of what Marxists like Ayers call "useful idiots". None of you seem to be friends of America or her citizens.

Maybe for our next Presidential candidate, we can enlist someone who is friends with Osama bin Laden, and who is a twenty-year member of the KKK. After all, it works for Obama.

Are you people all mentally retarded? Ayers is a terrorist. Are you people nuts? What does it take to convince you Obama likes marxist individuals like Ayers?

Apparently all of you all believe in socialism too.
Say it out loud, look in the mirror and say,


i think that mccain isn't right for us!

i think that mccain isn't right for us!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 15, 2008 8:30 AM.

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Obama co-chair Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. refutes dad Rev. Jackson comments on Israel is the next entry in this blog.

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