The Daily Beast had quite a scoop, today. Contrary to what the Obama campaign’s “Fight the Smears” website alleged back in 2008, Obama was once friendly with former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers and did hold a political fundraiser in his living room back in 1995.
So good of the left-wing media to finally look into this….now that he’s been reelected and the ugly truth doesn’t really matter, anymore.
THE DAILY BEAST: There was a big hullabaloo during the 2008 presidential election over your relationship to Obama. What is or was your relationship to him?
AYERS: “I brief him every Monday in the White House, and he never listens! (that was an attempt at a joke – Ed.) No. The truth is exactly what he said and what the campaign said in 2008. David Axelrod said we were friendly, that was true; we served on a couple of boards together, that was true; he held a fundraiser in our living room, that was true; Michelle [Obama] and Bernardine were at the law firm together, that was true. Hyde Park in Chicago is a tiny neighborhood, so when he said I was “a guy around the neighborhood,” that was true. Today, I wish I knew him better and he was listening to me. Obama’s not a radical. I wish he were, but he’s not.”
Gotta love the history revisionism, there. 2008 was so long ago, how is anyone supposed to remember exactly what David Axelrod said about the Obama/Ayers friendship on the campaign trail.
Minimizing the significance of that alliance, Axelrod said: “Bill Ayers lives in his [Obama’s] neighborhood. Their kids attend the same school. They’re certainly friendly, they know each other, as anyone whose kids go to school together.”
I guess Ayers forgot to mention the part about their kids going to school together. Maybe because at the time, Ayers’ three children were in their late twenties and early thirties, and Obama’s two daughters, Sasha and Malia, were aged six and nine, respectively, which means Axelrod was – you know – lying.
Ayers also forgot to mention his backyard 4th of July BBQ with the Obamas. And I’m sure oh, so much more….
But here’s what the Obama Campaign’s now defunct “Fight the Smears” website had to say about the dastardly “smears” Bill Ayers just admitted were true.
Smear groups and now a desperate McCain campaign are trying to connect Barack to William Ayers using age-old guilt by association techniques. Here’s the truth: the smear associating Barack to Ayers is “phony,” “tenuous,” – even “exaggerated at best if not outright false.”
(Fight the Smears linked to friendly news outlets as “proof” and a WaPo factcheck that was inconclusive because not enough was known about the relationship (and they sure as hell weren’t putting anyone on it.)
William Ayers is a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with whom Barack served on the board of an education-reform organization in the mid-1990’s. According to the Associated Press, they are not close: “No evidence shows they were “pals” or even close when they worked on community boards years ago …”
Did anyone ask Bill Ayers?
Smear groups and the McCain campaign are trying to connect Obama to acts Ayers committed 40 years ago – when Barack was just eight years old. Here’s what the New York Times reported on the connection:
But the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called “somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.”
Barack has publicly denounced Ayers’ radical actions from the 1960’s:
Senator Obama strongly condemns the violent actions of the Weathermen group, as he does all acts of violence. But he was an eight-year-old child when Ayers and the Weathermen were active, and any attempt to connect Obama with events of almost forty years ago is ridiculous.
Fight back with the truth: make sure anyone who has seen this smear also sees this page.
About a week after the 2008 election, the Chicago Trib dropped this little bombshell:
In a new afterword to his 2001 book, Bill Ayers, former leader of the 1960s radical group Weather Underground, describes President-elect Barack Obama as a “family friend” and denies he wished his group had set off more bombs in the 1960s.
Ayers, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, adds few new details about his relationship with Obama in the afterword to Fugitive Days: Memoirs of an Anti-War Activist. The book is being reissued this month.
“We had served together on the board of a foundation, knew one another as neighbors and family friends.
Which had Ayers furiously back-peddling for days. Appearing on Good Morning America, he told the eager to please stooge of a host:
“I’m talking there about the fact that I became an issue unwittingly and unwillingly in the campaign and I decided that I didn’t want to answer any of it at that moment because it was such a profoundly dishonest narrative, but…I’m describing there, uh, how the blogosphere characterized the relationship. I would say…uh…really that we knew each other in a professional way, uh, again, on the same level as thousands of other people … uh, and I am a guy from around the neighborhood, incidentally.”
In that same interview he also called what he had previously described as a “fundraiser” a “coffee” per the Obama approved talking points. (Video at link.)
Was that good enough Ax?
At least in the Daily Beast interview, Ayers clarified that it was two boards, The Annenberg Challenge and Woods Fund, not just one that they served on together – another detail the MSM (and Fight the Smears) usually managed to get wrong.
Did Bill happen to mention that the those boards delivered $1,968,718 to Bill Ayers’ Small Schools Workshop? And another $761,100 to John Ayers’ Leadership for Quality Education group funded the Small Schools umbrella group he ran with his son? Just an innocent oversight, I’m sure.
He did note that it was indeed a FUNDRAISER and not an “informal coffee” that was held at his house for Obama.
On October 6, 2008, the Obama campaign released a memorandum, entitled, “Will the McCain Camp be Challenged on their Lies?”:
The memorandum stated: “Please find, below, a list of the most common lies the McCain campaign tells about Ayers and the actual facts that prove them false.”
And among those lies and facts, it states the following:
LIE: Senator Obama’s political career was launched at a fundraiser hosted by Ayers.
FACT:….As the New York Times [10/3/08] confirmed, previous coffees had been hosted for Obama’s State Senate campaign. State Senator Alice Palmer, Obama’s predecessor, introduced some of her longtime supporters to Obama at Ayers home. That’s it. It wasn’t even a fundraiser.
The New York Times continued to collude with the Obama campaign in the farce, writing the following on October 30:
“An article in some editions on Monday about an appearance by William Ayers, the 1960s radical, at a symposium in Manhattan referred incorrectly to the event he held in 1995 for Barack Obama , who was then running for a seat in the Illinois Senate. It was a neighborhood gathering, not a fund-raiser.”