Obama and ’60s Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths
CHICAGO — At a tumultuous meeting of anti-Vietnam War militants at the Chicago Coliseum in 1969, Bill Ayers helped found the radical Weathermen, launching a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and United States Capitol.
Twenty-six years later, at a lunchtime meeting about school reform in a Chicago skyscraper, Barack Obama met Mr. Ayers, by then an education professor. Their paths have crossed sporadically since then, at a coffee Mr. Ayers hosted for Mr. Obama’s first run for office, on the schools project and a charitable board, and in casual encounters as Hyde Park neighbors.
Their relationship has become a touchstone for opponents of Mr. Obama, the Democratic senator, in his bid for the presidency. Video clips on YouTube, including a new advertisement that was broadcast on Friday, juxtapose Mr. Obama’s face with the young Mr. Ayers or grainy shots of the bombings.
In a televised interview last spring, Senator John McCain, Mr. Obama’s Republican rival, asked, “How can you countenance someone who was engaged in bombings that could have or did kill innocent people?”
More recently, conservative critics who accuse Mr. Obama of a stealth radical agenda have asserted that he has misleadingly minimized his relationship with Mr. Ayers, whom the candidate has dismissed as “a guy who lives in my neighborhood” and “somebody who worked on education issues in Chicago that I know.”
A review of records of the schools project and interviews with a dozen people who know both men, suggest that Mr. Obama, 47, has played down his contacts with Mr. Ayers, 63. 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.”
Obama campaign aides said the Ayers relationship had been greatly exaggerated by opponents to smear the candidate.In the stark presentation of a 30-second advertisement or a television clip, Mr. Obama’s connections with a man who once bombed buildings and who is unapologetic about it may seem puzzling. But in Chicago, Mr. Ayers has largely been rehabilitated.Federal riot and bombing conspiracy charges against him were dropped in 1974 because of illegal wiretaps and other prosecutorial misconduct, and he was welcomed back after years in hiding by his large and prominent family.
I've had it! NY Times has lost all fairness, credibilioty, their circulation going down the toilet!
Fact: Obama’s political career was launched in the living room of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.
If you know your "friend" has THAT criminal background, would you have judged him not a good place to hold your first fundraiser?
Ayers married Bernadine Dohrn.
Her famous quote is this:
“Dig it. First they killed the pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room as them. Then they even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach. Wild.”
Among the victims? 8-months-pregnant Sharon Tate.
What kind of man marries someone who praises the butchering of pregnant women?Oh, that's right. It was only the Charles Manson murders she was talking about.
If McCain had associations with someone who had bombed abortion clinics, I wonder if the NY Times would have considered it a non- issue! It's the Times which has Whitewashed & rehabilitated Ayers!
The Times has rehabilitated Ayers!