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Thursday, October 09, 2008

John McCain's "Ayers Connection"

Yesterday morning, the McCain campaign released a list of 100 former ambassadors who've endorsed his run for president. The second name on that list was Leonore Annenberg, currently the president and chairman of the Annenberg Foundation, widow of ambassador and philanthropist Walter Annenberg, and "chief of protocol" at the State Department under Ronald Reagan.

If that last name sounds familiar, it's because it also graces the name of the Chicago education board where Barack Obama and William Ayers sat in the room six times together. Oopsie. . . the McCain-Palin ticket (and particularly Palin) has repeatedly faulted Obama recently for having served on that board with Ayers, who was a founding member of the radical 60's Weather Underground group when Obama was in grade school.

Regardless, Ayers was cleared by authorities decades ago, and has been rehabilitated in Chicago society, carving out a niche in education circles. A former Republican representative in Illinois told NPR on Monday, that smearing Obama for his board association with Ayers is "nonsensical."

"It was never a concern by any of us in the Chicago school reform movement that he had led a fugitive life years earlier ... It's ridiculous," Republican Rep. Diana Nelson said. "There is no reason at all to smear Barack Obama with this association. It's nonsensical, and it just makes me crazy. It's so silly."

Obama responded to McCain and Palin's bogus attacks the following day:

Obama: "Say it to my face, John McCain"

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