The drip, drip, drip of information about the exact nature of the relationship between Sen. Barack Obama and former domestic terrorist and 60's radical William Ayers continued today as the Obama campaign admitted for the first time that Sen. Obama did know of Ayers' history as the head of the notorious Weather Underground. That line directly contradicts what the campaign said yesterday, that Sen. Obama did not know who Ayers was when he worked closely with him on the boards of two separate organizations in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Worse for the campaign, the admission essentially confirms Gov. Sarah Palin's claim from this past weekend that Obama, "pals around with terrorists."
Obama campaign chief strategist David Axelrod told
the Chicago Tribune that Obama learned of Ayers' role as leader of the Weather Underground, which declared war on the United States and carried out a string of bombings at targets including the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, and New York City Police Headquarters, "sometime after," a 1995 fundraiser that Ayers held for Obama at his Chicago home.
"It was sometime after their first meetings, you know, he became aware of that. I don't know the exact moment.
I mean the fact is, like a lot of people who, you know, didn't live through that era, particularly who didn't live through that era in Chicago, it just wasn't, I mean, when [Obama] came to Chicago, Ayers was advising Mayor Daley on school reform issues and that was his profile was that he was an expert on education issues.
My understanding was that he, when he went there [to Ayers' home], he did not know, so I would say after. No one is suggesting that he never knew. I mean that's not, we weren't offering that."
But that is exactly what the Obama campaign
, just yesterday.
There are still more details of the Obama-Ayers relationship that the Obama campaign has not owned up to. The campaign will not confirm the exact nature of the working relationship between the two men at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an education funding initiative started by Ayers and headed by Obama as Ayers' his hand-picked chairman. The projects that the Annenberg Challenge funded were administered by a separate group known as The Collaborative, which had Ayers as its chairman. Obama would have to have been familiar with the Collaborative's projects in order to recommend them to the Annenberg Challenge board for funding. That belies a close working relationship. The two also served together on the board of the Woods Fund between 1999 and 2002. During that time, Ayers' now infamous September 11th, 2001, op-ed was published by the New York Times
and he was photographed standing on an American flag for an article in Chicago Magazine
Axelrod's admission that Obama learned of Ayers' terrorist activities "sometime after" the 1995 fund raiser makes it very likely that Obama knew Ayers was an unrepentant domestic terrorist when he sat with him on the boards of the Annenberg Challenge and the Woods Fund and chose to associate himself with Ayers anyway. The Obama campaign calls the furor over Ayers a smear and a "distraction." But so far, everything that the McCain campaign has claimed about Obama and Ayers has been confirmed by the Obama campaign itself. That hardly makes it a smear. It will be up to the voters to decide if it is a distraction.
Tagged: Barack Obama
, Bill Ayers
, David Axelrod
, president 2008
, Sarah Palin
, William Ayers