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Mayor Richard Daley (the younger) comes to Barack Obama's defense

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, whose father and namesake was famously not so sympathetic to antiwar protesters, is coming to the defense of Barack Obama for his link to former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley defends Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in the flap onetime radical Bill Ayers Daley accused Hillary Clinton and other critics of Obama's association with Ayers of "re-fighting 40-year-old battles." And the mayor noted that he also knows Ayers and has "worked with" him on city education reforms.

The mayor released the following statement:

"There are a lot of reasons that Americans are angry about Washington politics. And one more example is the way Senator Obama's opponents are playing guilt-by-association, tarring him because he happens to know Bill Ayers.

I also know Bill Ayers. He worked with me in shaping our now nationally-renowned school reform program. He is a nationally-recognized distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois/Chicago and a valued member of the Chicago community.

I don't condone what he did 40 years ago but I remember that period well. It was a difficult time, but those days are long over. I believe we have too many challenges in Chicago and our country to keep re-fighting 40 year old battles."

But the Clinton campaign was not about to drop Ayers' connection to Obama. Ayers hosted a neighborhood coffee for Obama's initial 1996 Illinois state Senate run and gave Obama a $200 donation for his state Senate reelection campaign in 2001.

In a conference call with reporters today, Clinton spokesmen Howard Wolfson and Phil Singer argued that Obama's political relationship with Ayers was more important than the decision by Clinton's husband, ex-President Bill Clinton, to commute the sentences of two of Ayers' former Weather Underground members, Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans, on terrorist-related weapons charges.

Asked if Hillary Clinton had expressed any disagreement with her husband's action, Wolfson said only that he would ask the candidate.

-- Mike Dorning and Rick Pearson

Dorning and Pearson write for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune's Washington bureau.

Photo credit: Associated Press.

Comments () | Archives (21)

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It is time for all Democrats to see what is really going on and stop supporting this destructive behavior from the Clinton camp. This is one sure way to loose the general election! It is one sure way to have anther four years of failed Republican agenda at the white house.

Anyone who is supporting the Clintons should seriously look at he damage this couple is inflicting to our party. Enough is enough; the needs of the party should trump an individual’s blind desire for power! Times to stop this shared and start uniting behind Barack Obama!

Watching the debate which to me wasn't a debate but rather a bashing on Hillary's part to put down Obama. I did not get anything from her on what she would do for our country only to learn that she is a master at putting down another person.

The Clintons will continually deflect from the issues, such as those buried when their tax returns came out, and Penn was caught in bed with Colombian officials. Look at the timing -- just when the returns came public Clintons put Senator Obama on the defensive with the "elitist" charge.

Who is "elitist" when you sit on that much money (accrued so fast)? How many governments and people do $109,000,000 buy? They so not want any of us wondering about this.

Wasn't some of their money kept offshore on the Cayman Islands, not contributing some of it to helping the less fortunate among us? Secreted names of donors to the Clinton Library, an infrequent donation from the Clinton Foundation to a smalltown library after an election there, and other irregularities were suddenly forgotten in the mire. Coincidence that 'Obama's the "elitist" ' is what they kept talking about long as they could get away with it?

I don't like any of the comments by Rev. Wright, Rev. Hagee, Rev. Parsley, Samantha Power, Geraldine Ferraro, Bill Ayers, or Bill Clinton. As a result, I will not vote for any of them - oh, wait a minute, I forgot - NONE OF THEM ARE THE CANDIDATES!!!

So Obama had a cup of coffee with someone who lives in his neighborhood, and now he has some kind of connection to something that happened 40 years ago when he was 8 years old. Talk about a stretch. Talk about desperation.

If anything, the debate last night should debunk once and for all the myth that somehow the media "cuddles" Obama. There are plenty of Clinton loyalists in the press corps waiting to torpedo the challengers to the Clinton dynasty.
Obama got to where he's at because he speaks from the heart. Guilt by association is all his critics have got on him.

I agree with Daley. The problem with older Baby-Boomers, conservative & liberal, is that they can't stop fighting their old battles. And why drag Obama into it, since he's a younger Boomer & was only a child when all of that was going on? I am also a younger Boomer & would love to see someone around my age as President. It would certainly beat 4-8 more years of older Boomers screaming at each other.

I was proud to see Chcago Mayor Richard Daly's press release in defense of Barack Obama's regarding his association with William Ayers. Chicago Richard Daly was considered one of five top city mayors in US.

Hilary Clinton is behind this latest character attack upon Barack Obama. I had seen in a post something was coming and had heard they had some things for an attack. It does seem like Barack Obama did know William Ayers, was given a tea at his home. Appears it was more the individual that he was replacing who set this up. But seems William Ayers involvement stopped there, except for a small $200 donation. This is a city and appears Mr. Ayers was involved with the mayor.

What William Ayers did 40+ years ago may have been horrible. I have not totally been able to get official validation of his particular offenses. Bombings occurred when Barack Obama was a small child. Mr. Ayers must have changed his life to become professor at University, active in community, etc. Articles reported he has been instrumental in assisting reform of Chicago public Schools.



I find this triangle Clinton,Daly,Ayers,Underground, Obama quite interesting. I am aware Hilary Clinton does not want to let this die. Think Hilary Clinton needs to be careful. This is personal defamation of character. Hilary is pulling all the stops out.

I don't really feel there is anything to this. But news media investigators will be busy checking all out. Then we will all be informed and can get our own true validation. Sure am getting tired of Hilary's negative campaign. She is most definitely the worst of the three. I just want to hear about the issues. We have too many problems in this country.

No surprise that Mayor Daley is out there defending Obama. A whole lot of people in the Daley administration are involved in the Rezko Trial /scandal.

Obama appears to be part & parcel of the corrupt Daley administration. He got his "in" with the Daley machine when his wife, Michelle, had a job as assistant to one of Daley's top aides.

It is indeed a shame if all Hillary does is to put someone down in order for her to look good. I think that yesterday’s debate was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I mean, how can you raise an issue with a man who supposedly committed a crime 40 years ago, when Obama was just eight? I will, for the first time vote for a democrat and it is going to be Obama. AS FOR THE CLINTONS, GET ALIFE, SAVE FACE, AND DROP OUT OF THE RACE!

Don't you know the Clinton's have a market share of questionable associates? Their friends in Arkansas just for starters, the ones that WhiteWater thing, etc was all about comes to mind. And oh yes, Bill either pardoned or commuted 2 members of the Weather Underground(Ayer's group). Hillary's come back to Obama challenge was 'a lot of people got killed', yes members of their own group accidently blew themselves up -no body else.

Just brush it off. Just refuse to drop to that level of debate. The Clinton's only think of themselves. If it takes destroying Barack in order to retake the white house -- well they'll try. But as he did today in NC, the country just needs to brush it off. Soon we will be done with the Clinton's and there ego-centric quest for power.

It is wonderful to see Senator Obama keep his cool and sense of humor through the ABC project to lynch him. His refusal to knife Hillary when invited to do so on her Bosnia lies shows his true class. But Americans like me have grown very bitter and vexed against the Clinton machine and with the Democratic Party elders like Edwards. As a lifelong Democrat and feminist who has been faithfully tithing to the party and who voted for Bill twice, I am now beyond healing with Hillary. She has completely lost me, and although I may not vote for Mccain if she were to be the nominee, there is no way I will remain a Democrat and vote for monstrous her. I will become a proud Independent and reclaim my integrity. Hillary's outrageous lies are almost as bad as her slurs and smears of an honorable opponent. She will do anything to win, including acting like a Republican, crying before the camera, hiding the Clintons' shady business dealings, lying about NAFTA, pandering to the NRA and to drunks, etc, etc. Our beloved republic will soon be a banana republic, in the grip of Lady Hillary Macbeth and dynastic and coporate machines. Hillary has turned our democracy into a pandercracy. She will lie to the American people from Day One and wage endless war ballistically to prove she has those as well.

Finally, the truth about Obama. He didnt have a cup of coffee with Ayers as another writer suggests. Ayers held a fundraiser for Obama. I'm a Dem who will not vote for Obama.

12 or 13 years ago I served on the board of directors for my local YWCA. I served because I was asked and because the YWCA does so much good for women and children in my community. There were 15-20 other board members and I failed to vet them all before agreeing to serve. I realize now what a mistake that was. And to think that I attended meetings, social events and fundraisers with them and some of them may have even bought my paintings.
I will have to be more careful in the future.........

Katherine you are an idiot. If HIllary was slammed for every bad association she had she wouldn't even be a sencator. Don't you remember watergate or whitewater or whatever? Get over it. You are the old type of political guru that the old way of politics plays on. You are their puppet. Obama knew this person when he was 8 years old. McCain and Hillary both know people that have been endicted or charges were brought against them for fraudulent activity. Obama never has and never will. He is the most honest of all the candidates. You just choose to put on blinders and want to believe these awful stretches of the truth. ITs ridiculous. Get a life!! If you are a true democrat you will vote for whoever the nominee is. I will bite my tongue if Hillary is the nominee so that this war can end and everyone has a fair chance at healthcare. VOTE OBAMA 08!!!

Bottom line is that Obama does not have enough experience to hold the highest office in this country.

People need to look past the inspirational speeches and check his record to see exactly what uniting or reforming he has done to any great significance. He did nothing of any great significance that reflects/represents his self proclaimed title.

If he couldn't do that in Illinois or Chicago where same old corrupt/machine politics are prevalent, what makes anyone think he will magically do the things he talks about (not just the basic stuff, but cleaning house).

I like what he says, but he's just a politician that has calculated this path for quite some time.

Wake up to the truth. Ms.Clinton is neither interested in America's welfare or Democratic party's success. She is just self-interested and is intent on destroying that she is not able to get.-- yes, it does resemble 4 yr old's mentality. when u see the larger picture of what she does.

“The whole world is watching”

Maximilien Robespierre: “Bring me the truest patriot in France. Get him to write six line on any subject, and I’ll find a way to hang him”

Enter…. Barack Obama…Enter the campaign of Hillary Rodham “Clinton.

It has always worked, hasn’t it, down through the ages? Innuendo, distortions, lies and the general absence of morals in the political discourse. And fear…. Oh no, don’t forget fear, the biggest and most powerful of the human emotions. There is a campaign today that appears to be based more on the history of scoundrels than on the history of the best of the human endeavor. Welcome to the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign of 2008……Welcome to The Land of OZ.

While the Clinton campaign denigrates the legislative accomplishments of Barack Obama an examination of the Hillary Clinton accomplishments show few indeed. Of the twenty bills she has had passed it is reported fifteen have been purely symbolic.

While Clinton has expressed outrage over the visit of one of Obama’s aides to the Canadian embassy regarding NAFTA it is reported that her campaign had done the same and one of her top aides (Mark Penn) heads a firm that is right pushing to expand NAFTA into South America. She now says she is against NAFTA and for years has praised it.
Clinton claims an extensive foreign policy experience. As the wife of President Clinton, her role was primarily ceremonial. Her background as a “citizen of the world” cannot compare to Barack Obama.

But, you know, it seems everyone “puff’s” their own wares a little. Is it evil? Probably not. Is it disingenuous? Most likely. But distortions and lies, half-truths and innuendoes, taking your own dishonesty and failings and putting them on to another is not only dishonest…it is evil.

If you look closely, you will see it in their eyes, you will see it in their body language and you will see it in their actions and reactions. We have had enough of the “anything to win” philosophy in this country. We have had it full measure. It has invaded our lives and eroded our souls. It has made us a nation of distrust and discontent. " We are mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore.” The politics of yesterday must bade us goodbye.

In l968 at the Democratic Convention the streets of Chicago were filled with demonstrators. The Mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley, set loose thousands of police and National Guard to beat them with truncheons, drag them by the hair to police vans and imprison them in stockades. The crowds in the streets started to chant….and that chant was heard around the world….”The whole world is watching…..the whole world is watching…the whole world is watchng”

They are watching again.

Daley and Bush have more in common. Just look at what he did to Meigs Field crushed it without any concern of public opinion. Tthe worst, trying to put a private concern in TWO public parks: Latin School in Lincoln Park and Children's Museum in Grant Park. He may have helped Chicago in the beginning but now he is a menace.

If you really want to see why Daley created Obama in his own machined image - go to:,0,6826493.column

John Kass is truly an unbiased Tribune contributor.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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