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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Obama dogged by links to 1960s radical

CHICAGO (USA Today) — Conservatives are stepping up efforts to turn 1960s radical Bill Ayers into a political liability for Barack Obama.

This spring, Obama's links to Ayers briefly became a campaign controversy. Now American Issues Project is spending $2.8 million to air a TV ad highlighting links between Obama and Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground Organization, which opposed the Vietnam War and was responsible for several bombings.

Obama released a rebuttal TV ad Monday. "With all our problems, why is John McCain talking about the '60s, trying to link Barack Obama to radical Bill Ayers?" a narrator asks.

A movie, Hype: The Obama Effect, was first shown Sunday in Denver. It was made by Citizens United, another conservative group, and explores the Ayers-Obama connection and questions whether Obama can unite the country.

Documents released today by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) will be scrutinized for clues to the relationship.

Ayers was a founder of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a school-reform group. Obama chaired its board from 1995-99. National Review reported last week that UIC said records detailing meetings and other business were public, then reversed itself. UIC said Friday there was a misunderstanding.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Jonah Goldberg said...

From National Review Online

I am amazed, simply amazed, at the amazement of many liberals that Ayers and Dohrn should matter to anyone. I was one of the first to write about Ayers (for which Alan Colmes denounced me as some kind of McCarthyite, though not in so many words) and I've been getting email ever since for my mule-headedness. Apparently the groupthink is so thick that at the Obama campaign they actually think this rightwing or Republican obsession is a weakness. How else to explain the stupidity of their Ayers' ad? Okay, there are some other possible explanations — some deadly polling numbers they're discovering, for example. But the consternation at such horrible "guilt-by-association" is still very real. But it runs even deeper than you might think. Consider Bernadine Dohrn, Ayers' wife and the co-host of Obama's career-launching fundraiser. When she was in the Weather Underground she was one of those members typically fascinated with Charles Manson (I discuss this briefly in my book). Speaking of Manson's famous murders she exclaimed, "Dig It! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach! Wild!” In appreciation, her Weather Underground cell made a threefingered “fork” gesture its official salute.

Well, it seems puzzlement over the inability of others to get over this stuff extended to Dohrn herself. Fast-forward to 1993. In a predictably sympathetic profile in the New York Times, she said: "I was shocked at the anger toward me. I think part of it's reserved for women. You stepped out of the role of the good girl."

That's right. People were angered at Dohrn because of her feminism. That's the problem with conservatives and this conservative society, we just don't like uppity women. Why can't we just move on?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 2:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Cliff May said...

From National Review Online:

Americans may be alarmed over the fact that Barack Obama has had a long-term relationship with Bill Ayers.

But as a friend mentioned to me this morning, should Americans not also wonder: What did Ayers — an unrepentant terrorist, a man whose disillusionment with America’s political system was so great that he chose to set bombs, and three decades later continues to believe he and his terrorist allies didn’t do enough — what did Ayers see in Obama that made him want to support Obama?

One might also think this an appropriate issue even for the MSM. Not so far. Is even Fox touching it? I understand that both Fox and CNN have refused ad on the Ayers controversy made by the American Issues Project.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 3:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark Hemingway said...

From National Review Online:

An astute reader wonders if the Obama/Ayers ad isn't a pre-emptive strike against the Annenberg document dump. If all of a sudden thousands of pages of documentation were to reveal that Obama and Ayers had a very close association over a long period of time, destroying Obama's weak just-a-guy-in-my-neighborhood defense, then getting ahead of the issue forcefully might (and I stress might) make sense.

But if the Annenberg archives establish an intimate connection between the two and/or reaveal something even more damaging to boot, it's hard to see that as anything other than bad news for Obama — no matter how much he tries to get in front of the issue.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 3:17:00 PM  

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