Diary

How To Phrase This Kindly?

Barack Obama’s statements have an unfortunate tendency not to coincide with the truth. Consider first the comments made by David Axelrod on the issue of Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers:

So when did Obama learn that Ayers, now an education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was a founding member of the militant Weather Underground in the 1960s?

“It was sometime after their first meetings, you know, he became aware of that,” David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist, said on board the Obama campaign plane on a flight from Asheville, N.C., to here for tonight’s debate. “I don’t know the exact moment.”

Obama just was not familiar with the name when he first met him?

“Yeah,” Axelrod said. “I mean the fact is, like a lot of people who, you know, didn’t live through that era, particularly who didn’t live through that era in Chicago, it just wasn’t, I mean, when he came to Chicago, Ayers was advising Mayor Daley on school reform issues and that was his profile was that he was an expert on education issues.”

Did Obama know of Ayers’ history before or after the event, a small reception for Obama’s state Senate campaign in 1995 at Ayers’ home?

“My understanding was that he, when he went there, he did not know, so I would say after,” Axelrod said — confirming that he has asked Obama about this. “Yes, yeah.”

Now see this. When you are the Democratic nominee for President and even CNN calls you out for . . . er . . . deliberately misstating the facts, you know you have problems.

For me, the two motivating issues in this election campaign are foreign/defense/national security policy and economic policy. But is there any doubt that if, say, John McCain had ties to an abortion clinic bomber, those ties would not receive constant and constantly negative coverage? Heck, the Obama campaign tried to dredge up the Keating Five affair despite the fact that McCain received and deserved nothing more than a stern warning about “poor judgment.” And who can forget all of efforts made to tie Sarah Palin to unsavory characters in Alaska?

So this is fair game. Most voters want to hear about the economy, of course. But so long as McCain and Palin get raked over the coals for their associations, Obama can’t claim a free pass. Especially when the fact is that he wasn’t at all forthcoming about his own personal ties with unsavory characters.