Chris Cuomo gave Bill Ayers the toughest interview he has yet faced but somehow could still not pin him down on the nature of his relationship with Barack Obama.
One is reminded of the scene with Faye Dunaway and Jack Nicholson in Chinatown: “she’s my sister, she’s my daughter….” Bill Ayers says Obama is a “family friend” but at the same time only a “professional” colleague.
And he was just as ambiguous about when they met. Today Ayers said it was at the same time that Obama was active on issues related to job loss and education. Well, that would mean the late 1980s when Obama was a community organizer working with laid off steel workers and also on the same school reform efforts that Ayers helped lead.
Cuomo did not pursue the ambiguity and Ayers was content to let it sit there, unresolved.
But the larger impression made is of the utter political idiocy of Bill Ayers. He still wants to argue that his violent tactics as a founder and leader of the 70s cult Weather Underground somehow contributed to the peace movement at the time. Instead, of course, he and his wife in arms, Bernardine Dohrn, helped destroy a generation’s efforts on behalf of peace and genuine social justice. But that has not stopped him from re-issuing his apologia for his life, Fugitive Days, as well as co-authoring with Dohrn a new book that makes race the key explanatory variable for what ills America.
The right wing tried, valiantly, to portray Obama as somehow tainted by his association with this political relic. But what is, frankly, more disturbing is how or why Obama would have believed there was any value, whatsoever, to spending any time listening to this guy or his wife, at all.