11/11/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Dinner With Bill Ayers

The political word today is that the Republicans will return to personal attacks on Obama and Biden to draw attention away from McCain's erratic performance during the days before the passage of the Great Rescue/Bailout/U.S.-as-Sweden bill. We are supposedly to hear again about the Reverend Wright, the unreverend Tony Lezko, and William Ayers, the unrepentent Weatherman.

Of these three Chicagoans, I know only the last. I've been to three or four small dinner parties with Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, once hailed as the Weathermen's Dolores Ibarruri ("La Passionaria"), a fiery, beautiful muse. (Incidentally, I never heard the word "Weatherwoman.") Dohrn is still attractive, while Ayers maintains an adolescent fizzle in his sexagenarian bones. Dohrn is more subdued than Ayers, uninterested in fame. She told me that her husband wanted to pursue movie interest in their story, but that she wasn't interested. "They only care about the sex and violence." Once, Ayers was about to tell the four other people at dinner how they'd gotten Eldridge Cleaver from a California prison to a Moroccan haven, but Dohrn skillfully buttoned his lip.

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