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Obama, Palin, and the Ayers Story — Palling With Terrorists?

While the Boss played a set on the streets of Philadelphia in support of Obama over the weekend, Sarah Palin played to a packed house at the Home Depot Center.

Palin had some strong words for Obama in regard to his connection with controversial Weathermen founder, William Ayers. Palin said of Obama's connection with the man whose group launched a campaign of bombings targeting the Pentagon and United States Capitol that Obama was someone who viewed the US "as being so imperfect . . . he is palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."

Just what is the relationship between Obama and Ayers? The New York Times ran a piece this weekend in an effort to explain just that — but that explanation is drawing criticisms for leaving out crucial facts and downplaying the relationship. To see the two sides,


The Times piece paints a picture of sporadically crossed paths and circumstance, a relationship devoid of deep meaning. They quote Obama's explanation of Ayers as, “somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.” The investigation draws a conclusion that the "two men do not appear to have been close." It also acknowledges that since 2002, there has been an apparent effort on Obama's part to not consort with Ayers, who once said, “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough,” publicly.

The criticism starts with a changed title and continues to note instances where information and documentation was provided to the Times, including key supposed proof that showed Ayers was directly involved in the formation of the board of an education organization on which Obama served as chairman, but it was ignored. Questions also arise regarding grant money from the organization Obama and Ayers had in common — to fund projects by Ayers' former radical associates. Capping off the critique of the Times piece is the efforts made toward emphasizing the fact that Ayers is now rehabilitated.


Join The Conversation
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
Typo city, I meant Obama was one a volunteer board with him and that was his only real association with this man. Also this and other types of attacks, he's not like us type talk like he's and elitist ( code for uppity n-word), "terrorist fist bump", questioning his religion, etc etc is really thinly veiled racism and it needs to stop just like the sexism on Palin!
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
Obama was one a volunteer board with him and that was his only real association with this mean. I mean seriously guilt by associations is an insane thing to be throwing out at this point especially when there are issue that people find more important. I think this is going to hurt the McCain campaign. I'm just glad the Obama Campaign didn't mention that Palin and her husband were palling around with a group that wanted Alaska to sussed from the United States! Alaska First!
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Obama is having his strongest polling numbers of the year today...He is even up in Virginia 53% to 43%! McCain, go ahead and keep your eye off the is working, for Obama!
Jillness Jillness 8 years
Laine, have you turned on Fox News recently? Hate and empty rhetoric only from the left? That is just silly. Fox is giving credit on a regular basis to theories like this one that have been proven unsubstantial by respectable sources repeatedly...and yet they still run it. They give air time to Corsi, whose book even got the Obama's wedding date wrong (and that is a matter of public record, super easy to fact check!). "i dont think a family is really worried about who obama is friends with when they are struggling to pay the bills and fill up the gas tank. unless bill ayers knows how to solve the crisis then i dont see how he is relevent right now or at any moment in this campaign." Well said. The American people are crying out for answers to the financial crisis, and the McCain campaign wants to plug their ears and burry their heads in the sand. How McCain can pretend to be noble after all this is beyond me.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Laine, I don't necessarily think that Dems are ignoring these relationships. I'm personally not thrilled about them. But I also don't buy into the assumption that Obama hates America or that he's in any way a terrorist. I also don't think that you take on the political views of people just by associating with them. I have dated Liberals, Republicans and Libertarians without changing my views. I have listened to each of them at one point or another spew crap that I totally disagreed with. But that doesn't mean that I'm responsible for what they say, or that I implicitly agree with them. I just don't see these relationships as troubling enough to switch my vote. I don't think that makes me close-minded. It's hard to support ideologies that are the polar opposite of your own. In the end it's all about what the most important issues are to each person and they're likely to vote on those even if it compromises other beliefs. I know for me that either way I vote, I'll be voting for certain things I don't like.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
The Weathermen were a radical group from the sixties, doing what millions of others did at that time, protesting the vietnam war. They saw what we were doing over there as terrorist acts, with 2,00 people dying per day. It was 40 years ago that he was involved in this organization, he has done many positive things since then. Barack Obama was eight years old. His involvement with Ayers was through community organizations. I don't even see why this is a story? Let's move on to issues that might actually effect all of us.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
Like I said, this has been an extraordinarily closed minded election. Not to mention one full of hatefulness and empty rhetoric on the left.
laceykk23 laceykk23 8 years
i dont think a family is really worried about who obama is friends with when they are struggling to pay the bills and fill up the gas tank. unless bill ayers knows how to solve the crisis then i dont see how he is relevent right now or at any moment in this campaign. this is a pathetically transparent attempt to change the subject when the american people dont want the subject changed. in the new NBC/WSJ poll 59% of people say the economy is their top concern and almost as many think we are headed for another depression. i think when this is over most people wont look at mccain in the same light after having approved these ridiculous attacks on obama.
stephley stephley 8 years
Give it up. No one's buying the Democrats are terrorist lovers, Ayers has never run Chicago and one nut-job website doesn't mean you've done research. And don't criticize anyone for a lack of inquisitiveness if you're supporting a ticket with Sarah ask-me-no-questions-I'll-just-tell-you-what-I-want-you-to-hear Palin on it. The woman couldn't name a newspaper she reads for God's sake!
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 8 years
Everyone keeps looking at this issue through a microscope, when they really need a pair of binoculars. And a score card. The issue isn't just William Ayers. This issue is the pattern of associations Barack Obama maintains. There is a very high proportion of anti-capitalist, leftist America-haters: Ayers, Wright, Pfleger. His wife Michelle, for that matter. I don't want to be governed by anyone who hates me and my country. Why not just put Hugo Chavez in charge? Of even more concern should be William Ayers' father, Thomas Ayers. By many reports he's the godfather of Illinois politics, the puppeteer behind even the Mayors Daley of Chicago. He helped launch Obama's political career, son William is just an indiscreet embarrassment. There isn't a lot of easy-to-find information out there, but here's a site with some details and additional references. No one should point fingers about the economy. Neither candidate wins on that, but the Democrats have more culpability that the Republicans. Of course, I know this won't convince too many people, because this election has become one of the most closed-minded ones I can remember. It's depressing to see all the double standards applied, and the lack of inquisitiveness. It's as though everyone is happy being promised pie and ice cream, and no one is asking where it's coming from or what flavor it is. (Or whether the ice cream was made with Chinese milk!)
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I also think it is interesting that they are trying to paint the picture as if Ayers made the 2001 comment back before Obama worked with him during the 1990s. THe comment Palin made about "unrepentant terrorist" clearly makes it sound as if he made those comments and THEN Obama worked with him. Agreed, Kas. Very sad and desperate. :(
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"The conclusion reached in a number of articles was that Ayers had become fully accepted back into the society of Chicago and had been for some time. So if I imagine Obama dealing with him in that context, it doesn't seem as crazy as it would otherwise?" Well said. "Obama worked to push this man's agenda on the CAC" Are you kidding me? There were REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS on the board of this charity. A Republican Senator who was on it was on NPR tonight, and she was just flabbergasted and amazed at how something could be so distorted by the media looking to vilify someone. This man has been involved with education reform on a MASSIVE level. This charity organization was on par with some of the most benefical groups for education in the country, the Joyce Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, MacArthur Foundation. Only the Rove Republicans would try to make working for a charitable education organization would be a bad thing. Just absurd.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
It's reaching and desperate. And kinda sad. :(
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 8 years
Adrena, the Keeting 5 is not a fear word that has been over used to scare the American public into knee jerk reactions to the word no matter what context it is used in. They hear Obama and terrorist in the same sentence and their minds are made up.
Adrenalynn75 Adrenalynn75 8 years
I'll take the economy versus a loose relationship with a terrorist who is know a professor at a University. Again, when he was a known terrorist, Obama was 8. Meanwhile, the Keating 5 scandal, if you remember was the last bad financial bailout in our history. And guess who was one of the 5...hmmmm....
mrscaru mrscaru 8 years
This is definitely something we should know about. Yes, the economy is of utmost importance, but a possible president who is friends with terrorists? Not good. Not good at all.
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 8 years
Thanks for the history lesson. Take your attacks somewhere else.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
" it doesn't matter. I'm voting on the issues and the plans that have (or have not) been proposed by the candidates." Exactly!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Did you really just bring up slavery as a relevant point to this discussion? Seriously? Feel better now that you've corrected someone's spelling error? There are about 1000 more to go in this thread alone, or do you only want to demean people who think differently than you?
Imabeliever Imabeliever 8 years
You betcha sugasuga.. doggone sorry to have offended ya with my lack a grammar.. wink wink powpow.. just a plain ol soccor mom who needs to beef up on the ol english. Too many days of the Wiggles vs the Economist dontcha know. :WINK:
Sugasuga29 Sugasuga29 8 years
Imabeliever---the spelling you were looking for with "isle" is a-i-s-l-e. And in regards to fear, how quickly we all forget that Republicans, those dreaded, fear-mongering Republicans...are the ones who issued the Emancipation Proclamation. I believe it was the Democrats who were so insistent upon continuing to enslave human beings. If that isn't using fear as a tool...then I'm not sure what is. Study some history and brush up on your spelling before you share your pitiful lack of education with the rest of us.
Imabeliever Imabeliever 8 years
And by the way.. can Palin please cooperate with the troopergate investigation?? I find it funny that if she had cooperated as she said she would (bring it on..hold me responsible..oh golly gosh darn.. woulcha you know I am gonna hide behind Daddy McCain now.. wink wink powpow..)the verdict would have already been known and they could have fought it.. vs stonewalling and not cooperating with subpoenas while claiming she wants to broaden the authority and powers of the VP position.. WTF!? It just looks shady. And not very mavericky and transparent..doncha know.
Imabeliever Imabeliever 8 years
Mydiadem..yeah ask McCain about ol Joey Banana.. wasn't that his name? Or his shady dealings with military contractors, his land deals for donors here in AZ, McCain just had to review his own campaign contributions, his brush with the Keating 5 scandal, claiming he will reach across the isle to get things done when he has been nothing but a polarizing influence both with democrats and within his own party due to his irrational hot headed personality, his campaign being led by tainted lobbyists while he claims he will kick them all out of Washington.. sure ya will John :OY:. The problem with slinging you better be 100% certain none can come back to stick on you. It is a last ditch desperate move and might possibly work..Fear has served as a valuable tool for Republican leaders.
Sugasuga29 Sugasuga29 8 years
I would be careful of quoting news sources like they are gospel...90% of United States news agencies and mass media in general are liberal. That leaves only 10% with a conservative bent. The New York Times, for example, is one of the most liberal publications in existence. You can surmise from that why their article would defend Obama's relationship with Ayers...
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Steph - I'm basing that on the factcheck article Ze - again., "Obama worked hands on with Ayers to promotoe a social agenda. Neither Sarah Palin, nor Todd Palin, did that." thats the difference. Obama worked to push this man's agenda on the CAC and the Palins did nothing for the AIP.
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