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Obama, Ayers and...Republicans?

11:13 AM, Aug 26, 2008 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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I don't make a practice of posting excerpts of press releases from the presidential campaigns, but this is so funny it's worth making an exception.

For some reason, the usually smart Obama campaign has decided to fight back against attempts to link their candidate to William Ayers, the Weather Underground terrorist who said in 2001 that he wished he had been a more effective bomber of American targets. The Ayers-Obama relationship is the subject of an ad from the American Issues Project, an anti-Obama group, which suggests that Obama and Ayers are friends. In response, the Obama campaign has launched a counter-ad and has written to the Justice Department to intervene.

This morning, reporters received from the Obama campaign an email citing a Huffington Post item trying to link South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford to Ayers.

Below is some recent reporting about ties between Republicans and Bill Ayers:

Ayers and Governor Mark Sanford tied through the University of South Carolina. "The campaign season's hottest gotcha game -- six degrees of William Ayers -- has suddenly become a bit more complicated for John McCain and the Republican Party. It turns out that Ayers, a 60s-era radical and former Weathermen member, is linked to GOP Gov. Mark Sanford through their work for the University of South Carolina. Since 2005, Ayers has held the title of "distinguished scholar" at USC for participating in an education project. He has attended various university events, been praised highly by school administrators, even published columns on university's website. Meanwhile, Sanford holds the position of Ex-Officio Chairman of USC's Board of Trustees."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/26/ayers-linked-to-gop-gover_n_121...

So Obama's campaign is saying, on the one hand, that it's unfair to link their candidate to Ayers, although he served as chairman of a group Ayers founded and attended fundraisers at Ayers home. And at the same time the campaign is sending out emails attempting to link Mark Sanford to Ayers because they have honorary titles at the same 40,000-student university? That's funny.

Obama's complaints about the unfair linkage would be more convincing if they weren't citing sources attempting to do the same thing. And those complaints would be more convincing if Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who is close to Obama, hadn't offered his take on Obama and Ayers:

"They're friends. So what?"