WASHINGTON--Barack Obama's association with former terrorist, now urban educator Bill Ayers is looming in the closing days of the presidential race, as Obama's past once again becomes part of his present.
Sarah Palin said Obama ``is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country," as the McCain campaign opens the associational front with less than a month to go in the campaign. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign tried to take down Obama with Ayers and it did not work, but that was with mainly a Democratic primary audience.
On Saturday, the New York Times had a front page story on Obama and Ayers, which makes the point that the University of Illinois Chicago hired him despite his radical past--maybe fault the institution for that, someone suggested in the article. Ayers joined the UIC faculty years after the Weather Underground member surfaced from being on the lam from the law and after he got his doctorate from Columbia.
I wrote a column last Apil--during the Democratic primary clash-- explaining why Obama knowing Ayers never became an issue for him in Chicago. You may not agree, but that's the way it's been in the city.
Sun-Times reporters Chris Fusco and Abdon Pallasch wrote this piece on Ayers last April.
Having said all this, Obama probably invited more scrutiny after he downplayed and brushed off his association with Ayers during a Democratic debate, when he said he was just a "guy" in the neighborhood who he served with on some boards.