What the fuck is with people and trying to connect Obama to shady people?
Recently, I had an argument with a co-worker who was trying to say that Obama’s close financial advisor was Franklin Raines, a former CEO of Fannie Mae. It took me about two minutes to go online and show him that he was full of shit. Raines and Obama are not close. Obama has never sought advice from Raines and Raines never provided him advice. According to Raines’ own statements, someone from the Obama camp called him about some general economic questions, but nothing regarding the housing industry. This hardly qualifies him an advisor, let alone a close advisor.
At a recent campaign rally, Sarah Palin took “the gloves off” and accused Obama of being a close friend of Bill Ayers, a former member of the Weather Underground. Ayers was arrested for his participation in bombings throughout the early years of the 1970. He was later released and all charges against him were dropped, due to improper surveillance by the FBI.
Remember that at the time of the bombings, Barack Obama (then Barry) was about eight years old.
Despite his criminal past, Ayers went on to become a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also began a life of community organizing in Chicago, where he met Barack Obama. They even lived in the same nieghborhood.
Ayers has also worked with Richard Daley, mayor of Chicago, to reform Chicago’s public schools. He went on to sit on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, an anti-poverty, philanthropic foundation. Between 1999 and 2002, Ayers sat on that Booard with Barack Obama, however, the group met only four times a year, not including the occasional dinners hosted by the group. The two men also appeared together at academic conferences.
The source of all the controversy stems from a 1995 dinner at Ayer’s home, which Obama attended. At the dinner, Illinois Senator Alice Palmer was announcing her intention to run for Congress– and to introduce Barack Obama as her successor. In 2001, Ayers contributed a mere $200 to Obama’s re-election campaign
The bottomline is that these were two men from the same nieghborhood who had overlapping circles of interest and friends. The two men might be considered friends, but it does not neccesarily mean that the two of them are close friends. Obama has repeatedly said that he does not condone the actions of Ayers during his time as a Weatherman, and that those actions in no way should reflect negatively upon Obama’s values.
The McCain camp and right-wing bloggers want to link them as friendly like-minded radicals. They point to a New York Times interview in which Ayers said, “I don’t regret setting bombs.” This comment came during an interview for his memoir Fugitive Days. However, this was a comment made before 9/11. Since then, he has since written in his blog, “I’m often quoted saying that I have ‘no regrets’. This is not true. For anyone paying attention–and I try to stay wide-awake to the world around me all/ways–life brings misgivings, doubts, uncertainty, loss, regret. I’m sometimes asked if I regret anything I did to oppose the war in Viet Nam, and I say ‘no, I don’t regret anything I did to try to stop the slaughter of millions of human beings by my own government.’ Sometimes I add, ‘I don’t think I did enough.’ This is then elided: he has no regrets for setting bombs and thinks there should be more bombings… I’ve never advocated terrorism, never participated in it, never defended it. The U.S. government, by contrast, does it routinely and defends the use of it in its own cause consistently… ” Though there might be some contradictions in statements, he does appear to have regret for his actions.
It is not surprising, as recent Gallup Poll data suggests Obama is increasing his lead over McCain, that McCain would stoop so low as to engage in Swift-Boat style politics. For a man who, from the outset, said that he would run an honest and clean campaign, it is deplorable how much mud he slings in hopes that some of it will stick.
I checked out Barack Obama and John McCain’s Politifact profiles. Guess which candidate is the most honest? That’s right: Barack Obama. That is not to say that he has not stretched the truth, but he doesn’t have as many distortions or downright lies as McCain.
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