09/22/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Best Rebuttal To The Right's Ayers Rap on Obama

There is a simple and cogent response which all good Democrats should have on file to counter the increasing attacks on Obama for his casual relationship over the years to William Ayers. It is the following statement from the mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley:

There are a lot of reasons that Americans are angry about Washington politics. And one more example is the way Senator Obama's opponents are playing guilt-by-association, tarring him because he happens to know Bill Ayers.

I also know Bill Ayers. He worked with me in shaping our now nationally-renowned school reform program. He is a nationally-recognized distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois/Chicago and a valued member of the Chicago community.

I don't condone what he did 40 years ago but I remember that period well. It was a difficult time, but those days are long over. I believe we have too many challenges in Chicago and our country to keep re-fighting 40 year old battles.

The campaign looks to be devolving into a poison food fight and one will be tempted to answer the ad by pointing to its distortions. Barack did not LAUNCH his political career in Ayers' home. Nor is the Wood Foundation left-wing. Nor in fact did the statement attributed to Ayers that he wishes he had done more apply to the actual bombings. But this avoids the real issue which is referenced in the Mayor's statement.

What happened 40 years ago can be used in a scare politics ad but people should see the ad for what it is, an effort to distract. That is the truth.

Unfortunately in a food fight, it takes more than truth to make the point. So expect more from the Obama side, which has shown it will not take 527 smears lying down.

There is more on Ayers at my blog