Posted by Curt on 6 October, 2008 at 9:03 am. 10 comments already!

The Obama campaign is out in force trying to walk the Ayers story backwards by now….get this….saying that Obama didn’t know about Ayers past.

DAVID AXELROD: Well I mean, when he went, he certainly — he didn’t know the history.

But Erik Erickson points out that Obama would have had to been inside a cocoon in Chicago to not know about Ayers and his past. As the city got ready for the 1996 convention newspapers would reminisce about the violent convention as this 1994 article did:

Here are some condensed reactions to the upcoming convention and a look at what it means for Chicago and its image.

Bill Ayers, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, protested at the ’68 convention. The former Weather Underground activist also spent 11 years as a fugitive after the Days of Rage disturbances in 1969:

“It’s kind of a riot” he says with a laugh about the upcoming convention.

“I don’t think people think of Chicago as the site of the (’68) convention. Chicago is still held up as the city of broad shoulders, even though the shoulders are slumping precipitously right now. When I travel and say Chicago, people say, `Ah, Michael Jordan.’

“You can find irony in it. To me it’s not surprising that there’s going to be a Democratic convention here. It’s one of the great four or five convention cities. In a sense, they had to get over it.

“I’m planning to demonstrate. If they invade Haiti, you can count on it.”

A year later Ayers asked Obama to help him with the Annenberg Challenge and made this community organizer the HEAD of the foundation. Pretty giant leap wouldn’t you say?

From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.

The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama’s first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers’s home.

The Obama campaign has struggled to downplay that association. Last April, Sen. Obama dismissed Mr. Ayers as just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” and “not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis.” Yet documents in the CAC archives make clear that Mr. Ayers and Mr. Obama were partners in the CAC. Those archives are housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I’ve recently spent days looking through them.

The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was created ostensibly to improve Chicago’s public schools. The funding came from a national education initiative by Ambassador Walter Annenberg. In early 1995, Mr. Obama was appointed the first chairman of the board, which handled fiscal matters. Mr. Ayers co-chaired the foundation’s other key body, the “Collaborative,” which shaped education policy.

The CAC’s basic functioning has long been known, because its annual reports, evaluations and some board minutes were public. But the Daley archive contains additional board minutes, the Collaborative minutes, and documentation on the groups that CAC funded and rejected. The Daley archives show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda.

One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama’s “recruitment” to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

The CAC’s agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers’s educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland’s ghetto.

In works like “City Kids, City Teachers” and “Teaching the Personal and the Political,” Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? “I’m a radical, Leftist, small ‘c’ communist,” Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk’s, “Sixties Radicals,” at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.

Not long after Ayers hosted a fundraiser to jumpstart Obama’s political future, in his livingroom.

Erick:

And we’re really supposed to believe Obama did not know, by 1996, given all the major media coverage of the 1996 Democratic Convention going back to Chicago despite the 1968 riots — including local and national media interviews with Bill Ayers on the subject — that Obama did not know?

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Here are a few more news articles to show you how pervasive the coverage of Ayers was at the time:

Erick goes on to quote from a USA Today article dated August 27th, 1996. A Chicago Tribune article dated September 1st, 1996. And a August 3rd, 1997, article from the Chicago Tribune. All of them describe Ayers and his history.

But now we are supposed to believe Obama never heard of Ayers past.

Puhlease.

John Hinderaker:

This is rather like a person claiming that he had worked closely with Arnold Schwarzenegger for years, but had no idea that he was once a bodybuilder and movie actor. Ayers’ and Dohrn’s radical past is their only claim to fame.

But this is Obama’s MO. Recall that he went to a racist church for 20 years but never knew about the hatred then either.

He’s a straight up liar, and people are falling all over themselves to put him into the oval office.

Sad and scary.

Even sadder is the fact that the MSM is now attempting to minimize the terrorism Ayers engaged in.

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