CHICAGO

Who Else 'Worked With' Bill Ayers?

11/13/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011


"Behind in the polls and running out of time to change the subject from the sinking economy, the McCain/Palin campaign has gone hyper trying to morph Chicago Weatherman-turned-professor Bill Ayers into Barack Obama's soul mate," Greg Hinz writes in Crain's Chicago Business.

One of the most recent attempts is this 90-second attack ad:

The non-partisan PolitiFact found the ad brimming with enough false statements that it earned a "Pants On Fire" ranking on the site's Truth-O-Meter:

In short, this was a mainstream foundation funded by a mainstream, Republican business leader and led by an overwhelmingly mainstream, civic-minded group of individuals. Ayers' involvement in its inception and on an advisory committee do not make it radical - nor does the funding of programs involving the United Nations and African-American studies.

This attack is false, but it's more than that - it's malicious. It unfairly tars not just Obama, but all the other prominent, well-respected Chicagoans who also volunteered their time to the foundation. They came from all walks of life and all political backgrounds, and there's ample evidence their mission was nothing more than improving ailing public schools in Chicago.

Obama, as Hinz writes, "apparently had a lot of company at work."

Among those who served on the boards of the two Chicago charities at the heart of the Ayers-Obama "connection" are the former president of Northwestern University, the head of the city's most powerful business group, officials from petroleum giant BP Amoco and banking heavyweight UBS, and the ex-publisher of a noted liberal rag, the Chicago Tribune.

Kinda gives it a different spin, no? The story of the Ayers affair isn't that the radical Vietnam-era protester was embraced by Mr. Obama. The story is that a wide swath of Chicago's establishment, rightly or wrongly, gave Mr. Ayers a second chance -- and that Mr. Obama, not one to challenge Chicago's power structure, raised no objections.

The Obama campaign responded to McCain's Ayers ad with the spot below:

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