Obama hiding behind Daley's skirts?

John Kass has an explanation for Stanley Kurtz for why he couldn’t access what should be public records at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Kurtz apparently didn’t read the name of the building in which the files from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge reside.  It’s the Richard Daley Library, and when a Daley gets involved in a Chicago issue, openness flies right back out the door:

The relationship between the ambitious Obama and the unrepentant Ayers is a subject that excites Republicans, who haven’t really thwacked that pinata as hard as they might. It really irritates Obama and his political champion, Chicago’s sovereign lord, Mayor Richard M. Daley.

“This is a public entity,” Kurtz told us Wednesday. “I don’t understand how confidentiality of the donor would be an issue.”

You don’t understand, Mr. Kurtz? Allow me to explain. The secret is hidden in the name of the library:

The Richard J. Daley Library.


The son of the famous Chicago machine boss and one in his own right, Richard Daley Jr doesn’t understand why anyone would want to look into the relationship between a presidential candidate and an unrepentant domestic terrorist-cum-academic.  If William Ayers was good enough to wangle a Chicago job with the help of his father, Mayor Daley wondered aloud, why would anyone question him?

The mayor expressed his frustrations with outside agitators like Kurtz.

“People keep trying to align himself with Barack Obama,” Daley said. “It’s really unfortunate. They’re friends. So what? People do make mistakes in the past. You move on. This is a new century, a new time. He reflects back and he’s been making a strong contribution to our community.”

Had Ayers actually apologized for his radical terrorism as a member of the Weather Underground, Daley’s lament would make sense.  In fact, though, Ayers has repeatedly refused to apologize for his bombings and his terrorist actions, nor has his wife Bernardine Dohrn repented of her connections to bombings, thefts, and murder.  To this day, they still speak publicly about the need to overthrow the capitalist system of the United States and call America a “monster”.

They’re friends.  So what?  Well, most Americans don’t have friends who plotted to bomb the Pentagon, or assisted radicals in robberies that resulted in murder.  Not only did Barack Obama make these people his friends, he worked closely with them on two separate projects, the Woods Foundation — and that pesky Chicago Annenberg Challenge that UIC, a public institution, ran.  These were voluntary associations, not a case of both being hired by a corporate manager and forced to work together.  In fact, Obama chose to work for Ayers at the CAC.

Kass notes that a release now will prove rather pointless.  Daley’s people will have sanitized the records sufficiently by now that when Obama eventually demands their release, the only connection between him and Ayers will be the letterhead.  The Daley machine understands its role in protecting Obama, and they’re going to make sure it gets done right.

Tom Maguire has outstanding coverage of this story, and both The Swamp and Top of the Ticket have begun covering it as well.