Did Obama work for Bill Ayers?

posted at 2:29 pm on April 27, 2008 by Allahpundit

Pretty much, claims Larry “No wonder Karl Rove’s mother killed herself” Johnson. I can’t bring myself to link to him, strange bedfellows or no, so I’m sending you to Maguire’s site for the precis and a question or two about what Obama’s role really was at the Annenberg Challenge. Ayers co-founded it; Johnson says Obama was the first chairman of the board but cites no evidence to support that. A piece last year at Education Week apparently claimed that Obama “led” the Challenge (it’s behind a reg wall so I can’t check) but a blog post from one of EdWeek’s own contributors disputed that: “I wrote a long report about the CAC in 2001 … that failed to unearth Obama’s name as anyone of any influence — and never came across his name in an education context in the following six years during which I wrote a book about school reform in Chicago.” A 1995 article in the Chicago Reader backs Johnson up, though: “He sits on the boards of two foundations with long histories of backing social and political reform, including his own community work–the Woods Fund and the Joyce Foundation. Recently he was appointed president of the board of the Annenberg Challenge Grant, which will distribute some $50 million in grants to public-school reform efforts.”

So the guy worked for an education fund. So what? Who cares? Over to Jeralyn Merritt, who I can bring myself to link:

It is pretty curious that Obama called Ayers an English professor at the ABC debate when he knew from their work together at Annenberg that he was an Education Professor. Did he not want to be further connected to Ayers so he changed the name of his field from Education to English? Or did he really forget? That doesn’t bother me much either.

The relevant point here is that Obama seems to be minimizing his legitimate ties to Ayers for some reason. He’s spoken about being on the Annenberg Challenge Board and lists it on his resume, but he didn’t mention it at the debate — or that Ayers was intimately involved in it He also, according to many articles I’ve read that appeared in mainstream and professional publications, didn’t do much for education while he served on them.

The obvious exit question: How closely did Obama and Ayers work together at the Challenge? It may be that they had little contact, that Ayers’s role ended in setting the thing up and he was sufficiently uninvolved in day to day operations that Obama sincerely forgot he was associated with the program. If they did have close contact, though, how come His Holiness didn’t think to mention that tidbit when asked about it by Stephanopoulos? Something for an enterprising journalist to press him on, assuming there are any left who aren’t in the tank.

Update: A tipster sends along the EdWeek article via Lexis-Nexis. Here’s the relevant passage, which doesn’t tell us anything about whether Obama and Ayers worked together:

But Sen. Obama may have a unique perspective among the candidates seeking the presidency in 2008. As a private citizen, he led Chicago’s portion of the Annenberg Challenge school reform initiative financed by the late philanthropist Walter H. Annenberg–an experience that shaped Mr. Obama’s perspective on the critical importance of principals and teachers.

The Chicago Annenberg Challenge spread $49.2 million across the city’s schools in an effort to support emerging community-based public school reforms in the nation’s third-largest district. It was ultimately unsuccessful in raising student achievement, according to evaluations of the project. But its leaders and participants agreed that high-quality teachers were the key ingredient the school system was missing.

“All of the networks [of Chicago schools] we were funding came to that same conclusion after about three years,” said Ken Rolling, the former executive director of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. To improve urban schools, said Mr. Rolling, “we have to increase and improve the pool of qualified teachers.”

Mr. Obama led the Chicago group’s board from the start in 1995 and for about the next three years, Mr. Rolling said. He stayed on the board until the project closed in 2001.


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Comments

The whole Bill Ayers situation says more about the the left-wing Democrat mob-church that runs Chicago and forgives sins though social action than any social climber that comes though there.

ninjapirate on April 27, 2008 at 2:45 PM

The fact that the man quickly pointed out that he was 8 years old during the bombings led me to believe that this story was just about to unfoild and it wasn’t going to be pretty! This post kind of solidified that thought.

Pam on April 27, 2008 at 2:46 PM

The whole Bill Ayers situation says more about the the left-wing Democrat mob-church that runs Chicago and forgives sins though social action than any social climber that comes though there.

Yup.

Allahpundit on April 27, 2008 at 2:47 PM

Thank god for blogs and talk radio.

SouthernGent on April 27, 2008 at 2:58 PM

Obama may have to treat Ayers and Dohrn with kid gloves because they probably have some evidence (or could have some evidence) that Barack was very close to them. Could be something as simple as an answering-machine tape. Remember the Gennifer Flowers audio library?

RBMN on April 27, 2008 at 3:10 PM

Wow, only five comments for an Obama-Ayers post? Maybe this has less legs than I thought.

Allahpundit on April 27, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Yeah, funny that you would know the precise year that a person who was “just a neighbor” committed their crimes isn’t it? Note Obama didn’t say he was just a kid, he said he was 8 years old.

These folks (and I include Hillary) are sloppy with their excuses and tall tales – they are used to just saying any damn thing that seems convenient at the time. And it is because they know that the MSM will reliably give them the old Bill Moyers “yep, that settles it” head-nod.

You see, when you have the “refs” in your pocket, you don’t even have to go to the trouble of pretending to play by the rules!

drunyan8315 on April 27, 2008 at 3:14 PM

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YThjYTU1ZDBjNmQ2YzcwNzU1MmYwN2JiMWY0ZGI0NDA=&w=Mg==

Barack Obama made a joint appearance with Bill Ayers in 1997 at a University of Chicago panel on the outrage of treating juvenile criminals as if they were, well, criminals. Obama apologists say, “So what? People appear with other people all the time.” Nice try. This panel was orchestrated by none other than Michelle Obama, then an Associate Dean of Student Services. Ayers didn’t happen to be there — he was invited by the Obamas to educate students on the question before the house: “Should a Child Ever Be Called a ‘Super Predator?’”

Django on April 27, 2008 at 3:17 PM

I can’t help thinking that we’d have a lot more answers to the questions raised about Obama’s connections with Ayers if the MSM had actually been doing their job and investigating this would-be President, rather than just attending his rallies and swooning at his feet.

AZCoyote on April 27, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Barak’s deepest connection to Ayers is through Michelle. One of the reasons to pronounce Ayers an english professor instead of education is to draw away from the Michelle SDS Acolyte inspired by Ayers when she was attending Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. It was Michelle who discovered Barak and presented him to the Chicago radicals. Barak is a corrupt man driven by a radical true-believer syndrome wife. This candidacy is the culmination of an SDS effort to exact greater influence, power and money.

Beto Ochoa on April 27, 2008 at 3:30 PM

Have just been re-reading Collier and Horowitz’s “Destructive Generation” with its chapter on the Weathermen, and Ayres and Dohrn in particular. A good resource, and a reminder of just what Obama is tapping into.

WasatchMan on April 27, 2008 at 3:36 PM

It was ultimately unsuccessful in raising student achievement, according to evaluations of the project. But its leaders and participants agreed that high-quality teachers were the key ingredient the school system was missing.

so we know what the problem was but failed

this gives Obama credibility how?

windansea on April 27, 2008 at 3:36 PM

Wow, only five comments for an Obama-Ayers post? Maybe this has less legs than I thought.

Allahpundit on April 27, 2008 at 3:13 PM

I think the Ayers and Wright associations have done their damage – and serious damage that doesn’t reflect in skittish poll audiences (for fear of their being seen as racist, isn’t that an ironic backdraft?). But thank you and bless you for keeping up the good fight to keep these damaging associations fresh, strong and relevant in our minds. Obama now has three leftist associations: Ayers, Wright and Michelle. And the bitter/cling thang.

It’s over. They should be thinking of ’12.

John the Libertarian on April 27, 2008 at 3:43 PM

Ayers and Rev. Wright would fit nicely in Obama’s cabinet. God Bless America.

Travis1 on April 27, 2008 at 3:44 PM

What’s weird is that the Obama campaign originally tried to peddle the idea that there were no known links between Ayers and Obama. Jake Tapper had that tidbit a while back.

It’s as if they thought they’d covered their tracks.

MayBee on April 27, 2008 at 3:47 PM

Crazy Larry is just out to sink Obama, along with his pal Wilson. They lookin for jobs in Clinton’s administration. Fer shur.

Seixon on April 27, 2008 at 3:53 PM

Wow, only five comments for an Obama-Ayers post? Maybe this has less legs than I thought.
Allahpundit on April 27, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Wait a couple of hours. NASCAR’s running Talladega right now.

Beto Ochoa on April 27, 2008 at 3:53 PM

Crazy Larry is just out to sink Obama, along with his pal Wilson. They lookin for jobs in Clinton’s administration. Fer shur.

Yeah. I feel clammy even mentioning his post semi-approvingly.

Allahpundit on April 27, 2008 at 3:54 PM

It was ultimately unsuccessful in raising student achievement, according to evaluations of the project.

Yeah, Barry is ready for the presidency. His alliances with administrative failures, economic failures and human failures is really disconcerting.

He surrounds himself with abject losers.

So how exactly is this guy prepared to run the country? I kinda see why Hillary was talking about being ready on day one. She knows Barry isn’t, the media doesn’t seem to care about that whole thing, so she informs us.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Ayers get a position in the Barry Administration.

benrand on April 27, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Politics makes strange blogfellows

Beto Ochoa on April 27, 2008 at 3:59 PM

AP,

Re comments — it is a Sunday afternoon, y’know. Besides which, I think we’re going through a period of Obama fatigue at the moment. For example, HA didn’t even bother to cover the Wright-Moyers lovefest after the fact. I chalked that up to ennui.

Karl on April 27, 2008 at 3:59 PM

HA didn’t even bother to cover the Wright-Moyers lovefest after the fact.

I was drunk, I think. Not sure what Ed’s excuse is.

Allahpundit on April 27, 2008 at 4:00 PM

This may be just as good a place as any to float a question I’ve been wondering about. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Obama is his near-total lack of achievement and the absence of any paper trail. Aside from two self-absorbed biographies, no one seems able to discover any articles he’s written. It’s like pulling teeth to find out any real facts about his career, and there seems to be no information whatsoever on his true political ideals (if he has any).

So you’ve got a guy who’s practically Chauncey Gardner, yet he’s a serious candidate for President of the United States. How did he get here? Look at the people who helped launch his career — William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. I submit that this is no coincidence. We all know that leftists of a feather flock together, and these two are part of a very large network of left-wing extremists.

I have a deep, unproven suspicion that Obama was hand-picked by the hard-left Chicago establishment precisely because he had no record. The long-range plan was to place him in a position of power — ultimately, the White House. All he had to do was look good, sound vague, and not do anything that could lead people to suspect where his true sympathies lie. In turn, the leftists would put him into power, where he could then ram through their socialist agenda. The fact that he’s African-American is just the icing on the cake — no one can dare criticize him without being called a racist, so that automatically deflects nearly all hard questions about him.

Nevertheless, a few intrepid journalists and bloggers have been putting two and two together. The facts about Obama are beginning to come out. The question is, will enough be known by August to deny him the nomination, or will he implode in October, leading to a McGovern-like disaster?

doppelganglander on April 27, 2008 at 4:05 PM

Politics makes strange blogfellows

Beto Ochoa on April 27, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Excellent!

Django on April 27, 2008 at 4:06 PM

How long till the election? I’m sure we have not seen the last bit of dirt on the protected messiah. I’m also sure his brainwashed left followers will dismiss any and all evil Sen. Obama has done. What will be interesting to see (I hope) is the movement towards support of McCain, once some of this dirt starts to stick and stink.

abinitioadinfinitum on April 27, 2008 at 4:11 PM

Wait a couple of hours. NASCAR’s running Talladega right now.

Beto Ochoa on April 27, 2008 at 3:53 PM

also the NBA playoffs

abinitioadinfinitum on April 27, 2008 at 4:14 PM

I was drunk, I think.

So were Moyers and Wright, and it didn’t stop them.

Karl on April 27, 2008 at 4:23 PM

Barak’s deepest connection to Ayers is through Michelle. One of the reasons to pronounce Ayers an english professor instead of education is to draw away from the Michelle SDS Acolyte inspired by Ayers when she was attending Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. It was Michelle who discovered Barak and presented him to the Chicago radicals.
Beto Ochoa on April 27, 2008 at 3:30 PM

I’d be interested in seeing a bit more detail on this. I wasn’t aware of the Michelle connection. She was an Ayers groupie in high school?

a capella on April 27, 2008 at 4:23 PM

I’m also sure his brainwashed left followers will dismiss any and all evil Sen. Obama has done.
abinitioadinfinitum on April 27, 2008 at 4:11 PM

There is an old saying…
“Your friends don’t need explanations and you enemies wont accept one.”

Beto Ochoa on April 27, 2008 at 4:23 PM

Also, the NFL Draft. Just because Mel Kiper, Jr. is like Rain Man. Dude carved a career out of a newsletter. Imagine what he could have done with a blog.

Karl on April 27, 2008 at 4:25 PM

Every time I see that smirking schmucks picture, all I want to do is ram my fist down his throat.

DoctorDentons on April 27, 2008 at 4:31 PM

There will have to be some more direct linkage between Obama and Ayers in this case for the story to have legs. As it is right now, you throw out money towards some public school program in any big American city and the liberals are going to come-a-runnin’ to be part of the group that passes out the spoils, so Ayers and Obama being in this is not surprising. Plus, the Walter H. Annenberg Foundaition has never been considered part of the left-wing under-the-radar network, and the late Annenberg for years was reviled on the left for helping to bankroll Ronald Reagan’s rise to the presidency (his foundation isn’t as conservative as he was, but it’s not one of those faux non-partisan groups that George Soros bankrolls in hopes of getting his types of people into power in the American government).

jon1979 on April 27, 2008 at 4:49 PM

Maybe we should just rename him “Obumma” and accept Chicago politics for what it is. This guy has so much dirty linen that it would take a lot of soap to fix it. After all, these are the same people that elected JFK when he really lost.

duff65 on April 27, 2008 at 6:16 PM

Wait a couple of hours. NASCAR’s running Talladega right now.

Beto Ochoa on April 27, 2008 at 3:53 PM

Yeah, this has plenty of legs. Six months worth, I’m guessing. It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon; it’s April; and the rest of the American political world is clenching their eyes shut and holding their hands over their ears, pretending that it’s not possible that the idiot Obamas have associated themselves with anti-American yuppie terrorists from the 1960s.

“I can’t hear you, na na na-na-na.”

No worries, mate. There will be blood on this issue.

Jaibones on April 27, 2008 at 6:51 PM

I have a deep, unproven suspicion that Obama was hand-picked by the hard-left Chicago establishment precisely because he had no record. The long-range plan was to place him in a position of power — ultimately, the White House. All he had to do was look good, sound vague, and not do anything that could lead people to suspect where his true sympathies lie.

Ding!

baldilocks on April 27, 2008 at 6:54 PM

doppelganglander on April 27, 2008 at 4:05 PM

On The Rise Of Obama:”He said, ‘Cliff, I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator.’”

“He said, ‘Cliff, I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator.’”

“Oh, you are? Who might that be?”

“Barack Obama.”

Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.

“I took all the beatings and insults and endured all the racist comments over the years from nasty Republican committee chairmen,” State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of landmark racial profiling and videotaped confession legislation yanked away by Jones and given to Obama, complained to me at the time. “Barack didn’t have to endure any of it, yet, in the end, he got all the credit.

“I don’t consider it bill jacking,” Hendon told me. “But no one wants to carry the ball 99 yards all the way to the one-yard line, and then give it to the halfback who gets all the credit and the stats in the record book.”

During his seventh and final year in the state Senate, Obama’s stats soared. He sponsored a whopping 26 bills passed into law — including many he now cites in his presidential campaign when attacked as inexperienced.

It was a stunning achievement that started him on the path of national politics — and he couldn’t have done it without Jones.

Emil Jones Jr. is Obama’s kingmaker

Pam on April 27, 2008 at 7:52 PM

Did Obama work for Ayers then?

Doesn’t matter: he’s working for Ayers now!

landlines on April 27, 2008 at 8:06 PM

Doppleganglander:
Exactly! I’ve wondered where this unknown came from for a long time and I don’t mean Illinois. Where is all his money coming from? Why has he risen so fast? I hope the questions get answered long before the election.

Bambi on April 27, 2008 at 8:31 PM

I, for one, don’t want this Ayers-Dohrn connection to be forgotten. When those two domestic terrorists put away their bombs to achieve their ends, they positioned themselves to subvert within the system through a school of education and through the law.

Michelle Obama appears to be the true believer in this “revolutionary” “social justice” theory. Obama himself seems to simply be a naif, easily manipulable and idealistic in a manner more befitting an adolescent. His neediness for mentors and father-figures has made him ripe for exploitation as a figurehead executive by people who have far more dangerously ambitious ends.

Obama the Chicago-machine candidate even delivers his oratory like a robot.

onlineanalyst on April 27, 2008 at 9:13 PM

I have a deep, unproven suspicion that Obama was hand-picked by the hard-left Chicago establishment precisely because he had no record. The long-range plan was to place him in a position of power — ultimately, the White House. All he had to do was look good, sound vague, and not do anything that could lead people to suspect where his true sympathies lie.
doppelganglander on April 27, 2008 at 4:05 PM

That’s been the suspicion of quite a few people all along. There’s too many seemingly isolated facts about Obama, including his mother’s Marxist leanings, his grandparents belonging to what neighbors called “The Little Red Church on the Hill” (a reference not related to the paint color); his association with Wright, Ayers and Dohrn and likely much more. Hillary could only take it as far as Wright’s anti-Americanism and Ayers’ terrorism, since she hardly disagrees with the socialist/Marxist associations, so the question is: what will McCain do with it, if anything?

Frankly, I don’t think John has the intelligence to actually “get” the big picture, unless it can be reduced to a 30-second sound byte — nor may he want to, given the fact that the Black Congressional Caucus’ socialist connections aren’t exactly a secret.

Nichevo on April 27, 2008 at 9:16 PM

I have a deep, unproven suspicion that Obama was hand-picked by the hard-left Chicago establishment precisely because he had no record. The long-range plan was to place him in a position of power — ultimately, the White House. All he had to do was look good, sound vague, and not do anything that could lead people to suspect where his true sympathies lie.

Ding!

baldilocks on April 27, 2008 at 6:54 PM

Yep. That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking too.

macblanegirl on April 27, 2008 at 9:18 PM

baldilocks, Pam, Bambi, Nichevo: Thank you all for making me feel less crazy. I swear I’m not a conspiracy nut but I can’t think of any other explanation. I don’t know if this will blow up before the convention, but I’m praying it happens before November. I wish I were in a position to dig up some of this stuff, but being a conservative, I have a job and not a lot of spare time.

doppelganglander on April 27, 2008 at 9:21 PM

And macblanegirl too!

doppelganglander on April 27, 2008 at 9:22 PM

doppelganglander on April 27, 2008 at 9:21 PM

No problem. I consider that to be an accurate source because Emil Jones Jr. was interviewed and agreed with the story as it was presented..so there you go, welcome to the Chicago Way!

Pam on April 27, 2008 at 9:25 PM

Pam on April 27, 2008 at 9:25 PM

I think it’s very telling that, after being anointed by Alice Palmer as her successor, he used aggressive legal tactics to remove her and 3 other candidates from the ballot. Then when he ran for U.S. Senate, he lucked into the utter incompetence of the Republican party (and the vindictiveness of Jeri Ryan). Neither time did he have to defend his record (or lack thereof) of get specific about his proposals. He clearly thinks that’s going to work in 2008. Unfortunately, not all of the U.S. electorate is as gullible and easily led as the South Side of Chicago.

doppelganglander on April 27, 2008 at 9:47 PM

Barack: Soros sockpuppet in Swahili?

profitsbeard on April 28, 2008 at 12:12 AM

Emil Jones Jr. is Obama’s kingmaker

Pam on April 27, 2008 at 7:52 PM

Nice pickup, Pam. I had not read the piece before. Not a word of it shocks me, except that Spivak thinks this douchebag is smart. He sounds like a garden variety, ethically bereft Chicago hustler; maybe a little more cynical than most.

He’s dirty as a pig.

Jaibones on April 28, 2008 at 12:13 AM

The solution to the Bill Ayers issue for Hussein:

Bill Moyers interviews Ayers, which makes Ayers appear like a peace lovin’ hippie from the 60s.

saved on April 28, 2008 at 7:13 AM

I hope all of you read this link carefully, via Just One Minute.
Thomas Ayers and Obama.

Some excerpts:

So, who “sent” Obama? The key I think is his ties not to well connected uber lawyer Newton Minow, as Kaufman suggests, but more likely to the family of (in)famous former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers – not just Bill Ayers, but Bill’s father Tom Ayers and his brother John as well…
Interestingly, after his first year in law school Obama returned in the summer of 1989 to work as a summer associate at the prestigious Chicago law firm of Sidley & Austin….

So, why or how did Obama – at that point not yet the prominent first black president of the Harvard Law Review (that would happen the following year) – end up at Sidley?

Coincidentally, or not, Sidley had been long time outside counsel to Commonwealth Edison. The senior Sidley partner who was their key outside counsel, Howard Trienens, was a member of the board of trustees of Northwestern alongside Tom Ayers (and Sidley partner Newton Minow, too). Coincidentally, or not, Bernardine Dohrn worked at Sidley also, hired there in the late 80s many contend through the intervention of Tom Ayers, even though she is not a member of the bar (as far as I can tell) because of her past jail time for Weather Underground activities…

Obama went back to Harvard in the fall of 1989 where, of course, he became president of the law review. After graduation he went back to Chicago and to his old organization, DCP, to run a voter registration campaign. Then he joined the tiny, unknown outside of Chicago, public interest law firm of Davis Miner Barnhill. The partner who hired him was Judson Miner. Miner was a well known left wing lawyer in Chicago who had been counsel to the progressive black mayor in the 80s, Harold Washington. But Miner likely also had ties to the Ayers family. He was law school classmates with Bernardine Dohrn at the University of Chicago. He formed a lawyers group against the war after graduation and organized a left wing alternative to the local Chicago bar association.

Buy Danish on April 28, 2008 at 9:51 AM

Buy Danish on April 28, 2008 at 9:51 AM

That is a remarkable article. I hope the author gets this information out there to the media or at least to other bloggers with a wider circulation. One of his commenters suggest the WSJ, which might be an excellent outlet. I’m forwarding it to Little Green Footballs, myself. Thanks for digging this up.

doppelganglander on April 28, 2008 at 10:16 AM

doppelganglander on April 28, 2008 at 10:16 AM

It is remarkable and deserves to be read in depth, but don’t thank me, thank Just One Minute who provided the link!

Just One Minute is what AP refers to as Maguire’s site above, who links in turn linked to this piece.

Buy Danish on April 28, 2008 at 1:03 PM