Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ouch, another one

Another web video direct hit from the McCain folks:

The last spokesman is probably the most pertinent.

For all that McCain is allegedly out of the loop with the whole Internet thing, his campaign is remarkably efficient at getting out devastating YouTube (or in this case, responses. The Obama camp is not responding well in this regard, despite their alleged tech savvy.

Though, in the case of the Bill Ayers/Chicago Annenberg Challenge controversy, they are responding with calls for the Justice Department to investigate the American Issues Project, a group running an ad pointing out who Obama associates with. They are also sending letters to TV station owners threatening their FCC licenses. Nice heavy-handed tactics for the lovers of the First Amendment. I find it amazing that the political left is called on their authoritarian roots by Jonah Goldberg in Liberal Fascism, and then goes out and attempts to use the apparatus of the state to suppress speech. Here's the ad, judge for yourself:

They are also calling on their legions of fans to attack WGN, a big radio station in Chicago, for even having Stanely Kurtz of the National Review on the show to discuss the Annenberg Challnege documents. Kurtz was invited to speak because of a controversy regarding the CAC records, records he was originally promised he could see (something like 70 linear feet of documentation), then told he could not. The collection was held at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) library, and it's worth noting that Bill Ayers is a professor in the education department at UIC. Those records will be released this Tuesday -- whether they've been sanitized in the interim is another question.

Just as a recap, the Annenberg Challenge was a large donation from the Annenberg family to improve schools across the United States. The Chicago Annenberg Challenge got a big pile of money ($49 million) in 1993 to improve Chicago schools, and Obama was first Chairman and then on the board of one arm (fiscal and fundraising for matching grants) of the CAC, with Bill Ayers on the board for the policy arm. The CAC spent its money, upwards of $100 million counting matching funds and Annenberg money, for what its own later study decided was no net effect. This is the sum of Obama's executive experience, and "abject failure" is pretty much on-target. For a longer exploration of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Global Labor and Politics has an extensive writeup.

It is likely that Barack Obama was somewhat less than truthful when referring to former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers as "a guy who lives in my neighborhood". The fact that an up-and-coming politician would choose to associate with an unrepentant terrorist is questionable in and of itself, and really with BHO all we have to go on in assessing him as a candidate is his words, his judgment, and the things he's done -- and there are very few things in the third category.

The push-back on the Ayers story is impressive, and it leads one to believe that where there is a fire crew, there is a fire. Bill Ayers tried to destroy public buildings, and yet it's Stanley Kurtz that get the "assassin" moniker. Others have observed that if Obama had denounced Ayers as strongly as his campaign has denounced Stanley Kurtz there would be no issue.

Going to be interesting to see what comes from those documents. If there is anything there, it will put the Obama campaign on the back foot at a time when they really need to regain momentum.

Oh, and the other dude I didn't mention for the McCain veepstakes is Tim Pawlenty, the governor of Minnesota. He's pretty high up in the conventional pick category.

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