On Obama, Ayers, and Daley’s Chicago Politics

Remember, Chicago is where Obama honed his political skills.

Turn on the TV news when John McCain is picking up undecided voters by invoking Barack Obama’s relationship with unrepentant American terrorist William Ayers and, invariably, some liberal talking head will sniff in disgust and say Ayers is no big deal where Obama comes from.

Unfortunately, that’s true. Ayers is a terrorist. But this is Chicago.

Obama and Ayers are neighbors and they worked together on school issues with the same foundation. Obama’s political coming-out party was held in Ayers’ living room when Obama was running for his first political office.

And the boss of Chicago is Mayor Richard Daley. Mayor Shortshanks has thrown his protective embrace around both men. These are facts.

But the reason Ayers is not a big deal in Chicago has to do with the Chicago Way, and the left fork of that road that has been bought and paid for by the Daley machine, subsidized by taxpayers who foot the bill for public relations contracts from City Hall.

The new Daley machine is much more sophisticated than his father’s. And the stereotype of knuckle-draggers and wiseguys—they’re still around, and there are jobs on the city payroll for those who work the precincts.

Yet what’s often ignored is that their university-educated cousins get city contracts to spin the news and shape the symbolism and tell out-of-town reporters that Ayers is no big deal. They won’t bite the hand that feeds them. For an examination of the Daley spin machine—and its cost to taxpayers—please see Tribune reporter Dan Mihalopoulos’ story in the Sunday editions.

One friend of Obama and Ayers is former ’60s radical Marilyn Katz, now an Obama fundraiser, strategist and public relations maven. She’s often a go-to quote for reporters to knock down the Ayers-Obama story.

“What Bill Ayers and [former Black Panther, now U.S. Rep.] Bobby Rush . . . did 40 years ago has nothing to do with [the presidential campaign],” Katz was quoted as saying in the Chicago Sun-Times in April. “[Ayers] has a national reputation. He lectures at Harvard [University] and Vassar [College].”

What that story and many other pro-Obama articles gloss over is that during the violent protests of the 1968 Democratic National Convention here, Katz was the security chief for the radical Students for a Democratic Society. She once advocated throwing studded nails in front of police cars, back in the SDS days when the group was alleged to have thrown cellophane bags full of human excrement at cops and cans of urine and golf balls impaled with nails.

How things change.

……”Bill and I were in different parts of SDS. We disagreed on tactics. Bill has spent his entire life contributing to the betterment of society. That’s all I can say about Bill,” she said.

Happily, I beg to differ. Ayers is a terrorist—the narcissistic son of privilege and clout—whose father, Thomas, was the boss of Commonwealth Edison and a friend of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley. As a leader of the ultraviolent Weather Underground, Ayers admitted to helping bomb the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon in the 1970s. He should have been sent to prison. Instead, Chicago political clout allowed him and his wife, fellow radical Bernardine Dohrn, to magically join the payrolls of universities here.


Some things never change. Thugs like Daley succeed in a place like Chicago because the people allow the ‘business as usual’ practice to flourish. It’s a town steeped in union/democrat mafia-style politics.

Newsflash for all the Obama apologists who excuse his past and support his policies:

They are not mutually exclusive. His past involvements have a direct bearing on his policies.

He’s a socialist economically and on foreign policy. He honed his political skills in a leftwing/anarchist Chicago environment from the home of a like-minded comrade.

He wants to raise taxes into the stratosphere and plans on adding another TRILLION dollars of spending. He wants unconditional ass-kissing for Iran and thinks Islamofascist terrorists are just ‘misunderstood’.

If you support his policies, you’d better understand his past.

The trouble is, you like-minded comrades not only understand, but advocate.

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