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Obama/Ayers And McCain/Keating: The Difference

-"Not only did Obama not personally find anything especially obnoxious about Wright’s radicalism, anti-Americanism, ties to Farrakahn, and so on, or Ayers’ lack of regret for his terrorist past, he apparently didn’t expect that much of anyone else would care, either. How else do you explain why he didn’t jettison these individuals from his life before they could damage his presidential ambitions?"

-"The case for Keating being less relevant is that McCain hardly hides the affair. He called it, in his 2002 autobiography, “the worst mistake of my life.” He remade himself as a reformer in reaction to the scandal. McCain’s case isn’t that you should ignore his sin, or that it isn’t a sin; it’s that he’s expiated it."

http://bitsblog.florack.us/?p=12504

Obama/Ayers And McCain/Keating: The Difference
Bithead on October 6th, 2008

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Much has been said about Obama Ayers, but not nearly enough, in my view.


Hand over the heart, Barry, remember?
This morning, David Bernstein looks at the subject, and says it well:

Obama is an extremely ambitious man. He’s been interested in a national political career for many years. It’s not that surprising that he wouldn’t find Ayers and Wright objectionable company–in the very liberal, Hyde Park/Ivy League circles that he’s traveled in since attending Columbia, people with such views are more mainstream than, say, the average conservative evangelical Christian. That itself makes Obama far more liberal than the image his campaign attempts to portray.

But what is interesting to me is that not only did Obama not personally find anything especially obnoxious about Wright’s radicalism, anti-Americanism, ties to Farrakahn, and so on, or Ayers’ lack of regret for his terrorist past, he apparently didn’t expect that much of anyone else would care, either. How else do you explain why he didn’t jettison these individuals from his life before they could damage his presidential ambitions? How else do you explain how his campaign seemed to be caught flatfooted when Obama’s ties to Wright and then Ayers became campaign issues? And, perhaps most tellingly, how else do you explain that when Obama was asked in a debate with Clinton about his ties to Ayers, he analogized his friendship with Ayers to his friendship with Senator Tom Coburn, as if being friends with a very conservative senatorial colleague is somehow analogous with being friends with an unrepentant extreme leftist domestic terrorist?

Quite.


Of course, it should be pointed out that Obama also associated with Jerry Wright, he of ‘”Not God Bless America, but God Damn America” infamy.The ani-Americanism is out there for all to see in the cases of both Wright and Ayers.

And, yes, Obama’s wife… who didn’t find thing one to be proud of about America until her husband was nominated.

Now, we hear from Mike Allen that Obama and his people are planning to respond to these increasingly asked questions, by bringing up the Keating Five episode.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Monday is launching a multimedia campaign to draw attention to the involvement of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the “Keating Five” savings-and-loan scandal of 1989-91, which blemished McCain’s public image and set him on his course as a self-styled reformer.

Pushing back against what it calls McCain’s “guilt-by-association” tactics, the Obama campaign overnight began e-mailing millions of supporters a link to a website, KeatingEconomics.com, which will have a 13-minute documentary on the scandal beginning at noon Eastern time on Monday. The e-mails urge recipients to pass the link on to friends.

Lame, certainly. But, one can understand why Obama is responding this way. He has little to defend himself from such charges, so he frantically drags up stuff upon which McCain’s involvement has already been judged. McCain, even at the time, was quite open about the Keating affair, even putting it in his book, unlike Obama, who is still doing anything and everything he can do to bury reports of his relationship with Ayers.

Ben Smith looks at all this and says, in part:

The case for Keating being less relevant is that McCain hardly hides the affair. He called it, in his 2002 autobiography, “the worst mistake of my life.” He remade himself as a reformer in reaction to the scandal. McCain’s case isn’t that you should ignore his sin, or that it isn’t a sin; it’s that he’s expiated it.

Or, as an old friend of mine who passed on years ago, once said to me, it’s not where you’ve been, but where you’re going. Given that rather obvious difference, you know Obama wouldn’t be bringing this up, absent a certain level of desperation. And he is desperate, because he knows this stuff could cost him if he doesn’t keep a lid on it.

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