Machinery and Machination
Mr. Obama was nominated to the Challenge board and was elected chairman in 1995, said Ken Rolling, executive director of the group, which operated through 2001. Mr. Obama continued to teach law during his five-year unpaid tenure as board chairman, and he was twice elected to the Illinois Senate.
Several board members, including two university presidents, far outranked Mr. Obama in education experience.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Let me say the room had no shortage of egos, including my own,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Stanley O. Ikenberry, a board member who at the time was president of the University of Illinois. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was unusual: here you had a person trained in the law chairing a board on school reform.Ã¢â‚¬Â Still, he said, Mr. Obama won his colleaguesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ respect.
Well and good. Obama seems quite adept at playing to the room.
But as Steve Diamond, the liberal labor activist and Obama critic who, along with conservative Stanley Kurtz, has been driving the Annenberg investigation (such as it’s been), notes, “[The NYT] still missed the heart of the story, but perhaps this will finally convince folks that unlike Gertrude Stein’s Oakland, in Chicago there is something there when it comes to Obama, Ayers and Annenberg.
Diamond goes on to break down the article point by point — taking the Times to task for some of its omissions and or/equivocations, before concluding:
It’s obvious, of course, why Obama never mentions [his role in the CAC]:
* the CAC was an abject failure – their own research, which Rolling recently tried to prevent the public from seeing – concluded the effort had “no effect” on student outcomes;
* and, of course, while sharing a fox hole with the unapologetic former terrorist Bill Ayers in the Chicago School Wars is harmless if one is planning, as Obama was at the time, on stepping into the shoes of the late black Mayor, Harold Washington, it is altogether a different matter when one is running for President of the United States.
But the voters of the United States nonetheless deserve to know and understand precisely what this long-standing relationship between Ayers and Obama was all about. And yet we know more about the relationship between John McCain and the corrupt savings and loan shark Charles Keating than we do about Ayers and Obama.
Obama first told the electorate that he has nothing to do with Ayers at all, attempting to dismiss him as an aging radical who is just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood.”
Last night, though, he told Bill O’Reilly only that he has not “seen” Ayers in a year and a half. That means, of course, they have “seen” each other since Obama announced his run for the Presidency and one is left wondering, do we now have to go back and ask about telephone and email contacts?
Why not clear the air with the full story? Isn’t it about time?
Attempts to tether Governor Sarah Palin to Pat Buchanan (along with other supposed anti-semites) and a secessionist party have both proven unremarkable — largely because they were so easily debunked. Attempts to tether her to cuts in funding for special needs children, or to economic mistreatment of rape victims, have, too, proven feeble — though I suspect that the goal here is to tarnish her in the aggregate by throwing anything and everything against the igloo wall and see what blubber happens to stick.
And yet here we are, months away from a presidential election, and the mainstream press has only tangentially and defensively explored the connections between Barack Obama and an unrepentant (and largely unreconstructed) domestic terrorist — even though Obama has lied both about the extent and duration of that relationship.
And that strikes me not only as proof of a partisan bias, but also as a failure of due dilligence — and even on the more extreme end, a dereliction of its duty.