Mark Halperin has the clip, which is ironic since he described Ayers with the same polite euphemism yesterday that The One’s ad team uses here (George Will thankfully was there to correct him). Conventional political wisdom demands a forceful response to a forceful attack, but even so, I can’t quite believe Obama would throw fuel on the Ayers thing by running a reply ad. His argument is so weak that it doesn’t really qualify as an argument: Yes, we’re friendly, but it’s ancient history and I denounced what he did, so what’s the big deal about socializing with, um, an unrepentant terrorist? As for the submoronic point about Ayers’s crimes having been committed when Obama was eight — a staple of the left’s feeble defense of him on this subject — imagine what the reaction would be if Bobby Jindal, say, had struck up a chummy pen pal correspondence with Charles Manson while in his late 20s. Think the left might find that relevant to his character? Think the fact that Jindal wasn’t even born when Manson’s crimes were committed would get him off the hook? Of course not, because as even an eight-year-old can understand, the salient point isn’t how old Obama was when the crimes were committed, it’s how old he was when he formed the moral judgment that led him to associate with Ayers in the first place. The response from McCain HQ:
“The fact that Barack Obama chose to launch his political career at the home of an unrepentant terrorist raises more questions about Senator Obama’s judgment than any TV ad ever could. And the fact that he’s launching his own Convention by defending his long association with a man who says he didn’t bomb enough U.S. targets tells us more about Barack Obama than any of tonight’s speeches will.” –McCain spokesman Brian Rogers
By all means, let’s keep talking about this. Click the image to watch.