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Sarah Palin attacks over Barack Obama's link to a '60s radical


With exactly one month until election day, will Bill Ayers, the anti-Vietnam War radical who helped found a bomb-planting protest group, morph into what some observers earlier had predicted -- the Willie Horton of the 2008 presidential campaign? Bill Ayers

Horton, for those too young to remember, was a felon who, while on a weekend furlough from prison in Massachusetts, committed a heinous crime in Maryland. It happened under Michael Dukakis' gubernatorial watch, and in the final months of his 1988 White House bid the case was effectively used against him by his GOP rivals.

With this year's race entering its final stretch -- and Barack Obama having staked out a solid lead in recent polling -- John McCain's campaign has sent out word it's really ready to play hard ball against Obama (and here we naively thought the game already had been rough).

Out of the gate, it looks like hammering home Obama's link to Ayers could be central to that strategy.

The matter first arose several months ago during the Democratic nomination battle, and the Obama campaign felt compelled to post a page on its website that depicted his association with Ayers as tenuous.

Today, in a front-page story, the New York Times took its crack at airing out the Ayers connection. Here's the key part of the piece:

A review of records ... and interviews with a dozen people who know both men, suggest that Mr. Obama, 47, has played down his contacts with Mr. Ayers, 63. But the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called “somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.”

Sarah Palin, campaigning in the Denver area, took that ball and ran with it.

The Times' Robin Abcarian relates that Palin, speaking at a fundraiser, used a wry reference to one of the well-publicized questions she faced recently from CBS' Katie Couric to broach the Ayers issue. Said the Republican vice presidential candidate:

There is a lot of interest, I guess, in what I read and what I’ve read lately. Well, I was reading my copy of today’s New York Times [audience boos] and I was interested to read about Barack’s friends from Chicago [audience cheers].

I get to bring this up not to pick a fight, but it was there in the New York Times, so we are gonna talk about it. Turns out one of Barack’s earliest supporters is a man who, according to the New York Times -- and they are hardly ever wrong [audience laughs] -- was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol.' Wow. ...

Referring to Obama, she continued:

This is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America. We see America as the greatest force for good in this world. If we can be that beacon of light and hope for others who seek freedom and democracy and can live in a country that would allow intolerance in the equal rights that again our military men and women fight for and die for for all of us. Our opponent, though, is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country?

[UPDATE: Palin said much the same later in the day at a big rally in Carson, Calif. Abcarian reports that Palin signaled early in her remarks to an overflow crowd of more than 8,000 in the tennis stadium of Carson’s Home Depot Center that she would be going after Obama. “One of my campaign staff said as I was walking out here, ‘OK, the heels are on, the gloves are off,’ ” Palin said.]

Her comments in Colorado already had given the Associated Press the obvious lead for its story -- that she accused Obama of....

... "palling around with terrorists" as part of what the article characterized as a stepped-up effort to portray him "as unacceptable to American voters."

That effort can be expected to accelerate. And, most immediately, Ayers' name almost assuredly will surface in Obama's face-off with McCain in a town-hall setting this Tuesday.

Just as assuredly, the Obama campaign can be expected to use every means at its disposal to keep the spotlight on the issue that seems to have turned the election its way: the nation's economic turmoil.

Indeed, here's how Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan handled the reaction to Palin's Colorado comments:

Gov. Palin’s comments, while offensive, are not surprising, given the McCain campaign’s statement this morning that they would be launching Swift Boat-like attacks in hopes of deflecting attention from the nation’s economic ills. 

In fact, the very newspaper story Gov. Palin cited in hurling her shameless attack made clear that Sen. Obama is not close to Bill Ayers, much less "pals," and that he has strongly condemned the despicable acts Ayers committed 40 years ago, when Obama was 8.

What’s clear is that John McCain and Sarah Palin would rather spend their time tearing down Barack Obama than laying out a plan to build up our economy.

The N.Y. Times' story, by the way, quickly got hit from both the left and the right.

At Daily Kos, it was lambasted as a cave-in by the paper to the conservative critics who never tire of carping about it.

At the National Review's site, it's dismissed as a whitewash job that serves Obama's purposes.

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (293)

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This is pathetic. If Americans fall for this next pathetic attempt to distract attention from the issues because McCain is losing, I will have lost faith in the intelligence of the American people. This isn't going to work this time. John McCain has pulled this out of the bag one too many times. People aren't THAT stupid. Clearly, that's all McCain is counting on. The economy, healthcare, jobs.... but he's a TERRORIST people, a TERRORIST! Don't vote for him! Aaahhhhhhhh!

This from the Spouse of a member of a known secessionist?! Google: Todd Palin + Alaskan Independence Party; give me a freakin break! Talk about issues lady! Oh wait I'm sorry you can't can you???

It seems the McCain/Palin ticket is so desperate their lies will become even more stretched in this last month. It's too bad they seem more interested in lies and yellow journalism than dealing with issues, which is what we as voters are interested in.

Well I heard that Palin once had a friend that ate the head off of a baby. This women sees a different America than you and I...One in which eating the heads off of babies is appropriate. We can not let this women be one heartbeat away from one of the worlds biggest stockpiles of babies that are ripe for their heads to be eaten. That would not be good for our babies heads, THE BABIES DESERVE BETTER!!!


So it comes down to this? The McCain people are already so desperate that they're down on their hands and knees huffing and puffing to try and enflame a spark of hope out of a thrice-recycled slander that produced nothing but smoke and stench all the other times they tried to get it to catch. Truly pathetic stuff!! If McCain is such a great "maverick" why doesn't he come out and discuss the serious issues confronting this nation rather than resorting to this kind of despicable Swiftboating?

Isn't it time for the press/media to step up and quit being
spin doctors? Start telling the truth so we won't be mislead. This is america!!!!!

is it fair; to print only about obama ?

If mccain & palin bring up some ( nonsense ) mudd.
something that happen 40 years ago ? guilt by association ?

ask john mccain why he cheated on his federal taxes ( a crime FOR ALL ) and the keating 5; lies ? and his best friend ( joe ( bonano's ) crime boss.

Agree... pathetic!!!

Question: If McCain kicks it...Do you want a hockey mom running the country?

Another Question: Do you think she has what it takes to handle Russia, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Israel, etc... ?

Hockey mom needs to go back and take care of her family that really needs her, and let the experienced politicians fix this screwed up situation the republicans bestowed upon the USA... and the world.

Where's John McCain? It seems he's practically disappeared from the campaign trail during the last two weekends. I wonder if he is suffering a health issue.

Here they go again! Since Mcain-Palin don't have anything substantial to say about anything, they are resorting to lies to gain some advantage. That is very despicable. The American people are sick of this mindless nonsense.

McCain cannot win on the merit of his platform, so he thinks he should win by spreading lies about his opponent?
Isn't that how we got into the Iraq War? The intelligence had no merit, so the Bush Administration hyped up false dangers so that they could have their dirty pre-planned war. Sounds like McCain is going to govern the same way.
If he cannot win on the merit of his ideas, THIS TIME LIES WON'T WORK.

again, you can exactly calibrate the threat level posed by Pitbull Palin by how furious liberals are... and they ARE furious at this latest and justified attack. Obama was palsie walsie with Ayers in Chicago because Ayers could help him get going in the CHicago political scene. SImple as that.
And for that, Obama should be disqualified as presidential material.

I am glad this is finally being reported. It's been simmering under the surface for so long. There is a long history with Ayers and Obama. They are not just neighbors. Much deeper than that. check out the Woods Foundation. Shady business.


Numerous forces are at work, pressuring American voters into a decision during a time of extreme stress.

This is not a time for knee-jerk or emotional reactions. Cool heads should prevail.

YES FINALLY!!!!!! I have been waiting for McCain and Palin to finally start attacking his judgement. We all know and it is undisputable that Obama has no experience to be president, so they say he is qualified because of his judgement. He voted against Iraq but the reality is he is against war in general. Anyways, Americans need to know that Obama's judgement is terrible. A man is known by his associatons. Ayers and not to mention the community activist group Acorn. WOW he trained there people and they are strong arm illegal criminals and he is there trainer. Bring it on Palin and show Americans how terrible Obamas judgement is. No wonder he wants biden to sit in on every major decision because he has no experience and the only decisons he has made in his carrer have been to associate with and sit under a american hating pastor for 20 years!!!

Lest we forget, there are a lot of voters who were radicals in the 60's who are responsible wage earning adults now with families who respect them and what they stood for. These are not tobacco chewing hicks but well educated people with a mind of their own, and the guts to vote the ticket they believe in, and it's not the GOP. We fought for change in the 60's and we can get change now too.

Go Sarah Go . We women of America have been
working so hard to get our standards up and be equal
and have equal rights and you women of America
that don't vote for her should deserve to wear a
long robe and a scarf over your face and knee down
in front of a man and kiss his feet. Get it together and
stick together. Vote for her .
Would'nt we of had a perfect ticket if her and Hillary
were on it together. Than us women could really crow.
Go girls go

Cook county Illinois is known to be the most crooked political county in the U.S. where anything goes, and this is where Barack Hussien Osamas political career started with know felons crooks and political hacks from the Governor on down. Palin is attempting to show this side of him in this interview which the American public should know about instead of the smiley face he shows to the public. After 22 years in the military and 20 years in Washington I have grown to know his type and they are not to be trusted.......end of story.

Well, we all knew this was coming. I see now why Ms.Palin earned the nickname "Barracuda Sarah" back when she was a mayor. She's taken to "Swiftboating like a duck to water. Just what we need, another pitbull, Dick Cheney personality to go along with another "Shoot from the Lip" cowboy. John McCain better watch his back with Sarah Palin for a running mate!

If I did not loathe John McCain before, I certainly do now. The man is morally bankrupt.

You idiots.

Palin did not "make" the accusation. She is simply repeating it.

Wake up. face the truth.

A vote for O'bama is a vote for American terrorism




Palin is not pit bull. She is just a mouth piece. And, she has no brain or political sense to monitor and manage what comes out.

This, mark my words, will back fire on her and on McCain. But, I guess they must feel they have to roll the dice some more. Palin came up blank, really. McCain could be doing as well or better with any other choice.

In the end, Obama is who he is and saying he is a terrorist by inference is not believable. Why? Because it is not true. And, also, those that want to believe it already do. Those who know better are voting their conscience.

The McCain campaign seems to have studied H.L. Mencken's famous quote, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." But it's not going to work this time. The American public is too smart too fall for McCain/Palin's stupid attempts to smear Barack Obama, a good, honorable, and patriotic man. And McCain and his cronies are not going to trick the American public into voting against their own economic interests, the way they have in the past two presidential elections. McCain-Palin favor tax cuts for the rich-- their plan leaves out over l00 million middle class Americans, and will tax your health benefits. No, we won't be fooled again-- not this time, not this year. We need a change-- we need Obama/Biden.




The relationship between Obama and Ayers is so tenuous, it is absurd to try to use it as a political lance. Keating and McCain's collusion in fraud is much more intertwined. In this tit for tat campaign, I would not be surprised to see Obama pick up the brick and throw it back at McCain's glass house.

Well, it's now confirmed. Palin is a disgusting creature,willing to do "anything" to move her "radical" right wing agenda forward. What's the phrase? If she had a brain she'd be dangerous. I am confident that the American voter is too smart for these tactics this time around. We already l have the obvious results of electing a nut case (Bush). She is of the same ilk.

If the McCain campaign has to resort to such aggressive attacks on facts that have no significanct, then that tells the rest of us they know they essentially have lost the election already.

Does anyone know what group it is that is beating the Obama/Radical Islam drum? For example take the comment by Alec above. It has a Fox news feel, but it seems a little wingnut even for them. I hesitate to blame it on the McCain campaign, although it supports him.

Their posts are always extremely shrill, even a little insane, but they seem to be very efficient at getting at least one into every comment stream.

Is it just a bunch of losers who are listening to the same nutbag radio host, or is it actually a coordinated campaign? Does anybody know?

The truth is that Americans can't really shake off the ghost of Vietnam. Otherwise, the Democratic retort could be devastating. The top line in John McCain's résumé is being caught by the North Vietnamese.

However, Sarah Palin and many other in this country think of him in a glorious victory parade through Hanoi. And the Moon landing was staged in Hollywood. And George Bush was elected president ... TWICE.



In response to Alec:
My goodness! I had no idea that being homeless was a crime that could keep you from voting! I think there might be several thousand people , both conservative and um hmm. radical, who will suddenly become homeless in the next couple of months who may beg to disagree with you. Last I heard, homeless wasn't a crime and dioesn't make you any less of a citizen. You can be homeless and still have all of your constitutional rights, including the right to vote.

I don't get it. Are you Obamaphiles okay with him associating with Ayers or are you upset that Palin pointed it out?

Starting at the beginning, McCain was the loser as the republican nominee. Any candidate following the worst president in modern day history, was sunk. McCain's decision to pick Palin was a short term idea, since he was behind in the polls at the time. So what follows, is the hiding of Palin. Palin not being accessible to the press and in the few interviews, she comes off sounding like an uneducated, out of touch beauty contestant. It is an indicator that the republican party is done. People have taken notice of her lack of professionalism. Palin is out of her comfort zone and everyone knows it. McCain doesn't even respect her enough to let her know that he is leaving Michigan.

Folks, do you really think that Palin only read it in the NYT? This Obama/Ayers connection is real, and has been a ticking time bomb for months. How long are we supposed to wait for the MSM, the same MSM who sent 40 reporters to Alaska to get the truth on Bristol Palin, to finally get around to this story. Well, I'd like to personally thank the NYT for their crap cover story for Obama on this for opening the door - that Palin used today. Look out Lefties cause it's comin'.

Alec -

The only dangerous person(s) in this election is a voter like you.

It's about time that the Obama/Ayers connection gets some attention from the main stream media. Obama's campaign was hatched in Ayers'house, so it is a logical assumption that they share at least some common ideals. Add to that Obama's 20 year relationship with racist and American-hater Jeremiah Wright and his ties to Rezko, it is clear that everyone should be concerned about Obama's hidden agenda. To disparage Palin for simply discussing these facts does not add anything of substance to the discussion.

Palin - Americans aren't going to play your Bush/Rove fear games this time !
You're growing Desperate and lashing out in desperation !
Dang Gummit' Palin - you're about to LOSE !

Why would America REWARD complete Republican failure ?

We wont.

Palin's attempts to use the NYTimes story on Ayers to discredit Obama is pathetic. Here is a woman who cannot answer some questions in an interview or debate with candor, who has holes in her own administration's work in Alaska, hurling stones at Obama in the hopes of raising doubts and fears. Next step may be for the Bush administration to say there are "credible terror threats" so that the Department of Homeland Security can raise the color of the security flags to red just before the election. FEAR! The strategy is one of creating fear in the populace, and if this cannot work they will finally stoop to racism. The American voter is smarter than that . . . this time around. If, as Palin said in the debate, that Obama and Biden are raising the "white flag of surrender" then they are guilty of raising the red flag of fear. It is stuff like this that makes me sick and that led me to switch from Republican to Democrat.

The relationship between Obama and Ayers is so tenuous, it is absurd to try to use it as a political lance. Keating and McCain's collusion in fraud is much more intertwined. In this tit for tat campaign, I would not be surprised to see Obama pick up the brick and throw it back at McCain's glass house.


I have many more reasons not to vote for B. Hussein Obama:
Ali Abunimah, ACORN, Aiham Alsammarae, Nadhmi Auchi, Joe Biden, Governor Rod Blagojevich , Steve Branchflower , Joseph Cari , Gregory Craig , Lester Crown, Allison Davis , Frank Marshall Davis , Kim Elton , Rep. Rahm, Jodie Evans Hollis French , Alexi Giannoulias, Howard Gutman, Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, Jim Johnson , Emil Jones , Rashid Khalidi, Marilyn Katz , Kwame Kilpatrick, Larry Lessig, Walter Monegan, Martin Nesbitt, Federico Peña , Penny Pritzker, Antoin "Tony" Rezko, John W. Rogers Jr., SEIU , Todd Stroger , Madeline Talbott , Dorothy J. Tillman, Larry Walsh , Dr. Eric Whitaker , David Wilhelm , and list goes on and on.

Funny how the left is so focused on finding dirt on the right that they are blind to Obamas shady dealings!

Obama & Rev Wright (Excuse: No, he umm, does not umm agree with the Rev, and umm he's just like a Crazy Uncle.)

Obama & Resko (Excuse: No, they were only neighbor, he had no umm connections, he just sold some land to him and got a good deal from it)

Obama & Ayers (Excuse: No he only launched his campaign from Ayers' Home, but he umm didn't know him that well)

Obama & 2nd Largest Contributions from Corrupt Mortgage Companies (Excuse: Um, all policians do that, and besides um he wasn't the Largest!)

Obama & Harvard tuition paid by questionable individual (Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!)

Take your chances, I won't say I told you so!

palin is desperat, do anything and say anything.

You guys on the West Coast are in sane and have been exposed to too much pollution from the rat race you all live in. Wake up, smell the coffee, and vote for someone that will protect our country not destroy it as have the democrats with our economy. Yes, you probably wont be smart enough to look into it but most of our problems can be blamed on the democrats in office.....fanny May.....Freddy Mac......9/11 (because of Clinton's showboating) etc. So get out of the sun and grow up.

It's silly for Ms. Palin to do that. Up until she ran for governor, her husband was a member of the Alaska Independence Party (AIP), which, it seems, wants to break up the Union.

The AIP basic sentiment is contained in the words of the group's Kansas-born founder said proudly displayed on their website: “I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions.” To prove his point, the founder had himself buried in Canada' didn't want to rest in peace under that hated flag.

The AIP wants the UN or Switzerland oversee a do-over of Alaska's 1958 vote to join the Union. In the “Basic Questions” section of the AIP website, it has this to say:

“A: Depending on the form of independence, several forms of citizenship would be possible, including the retention of U.S. citizenship or dual citizenship. However, considering the moral, educational, and economic decay of the U.S., Alaskans' who hold themselves to a higher standard might very well decide to at least maintain an arm's length distance from a country in decline.”

Check out these Alaska Independent Party Links for yourself:

On Citizenship and US military protection:

Damned institutions quotation:

AIP basic beliefs (note the logo on the top right while you're there):

It seems that in Ms. Palin's world it's really naughty to know an old man who once was a radical, but patriotic to live with someone who does not believe in the United States.

I will vote the ticket that refuses to sit down for a chat with terrorists. As a small business owner I have concerns regarding the "Socialist policies" of the Democratic ticket. Live within your means, and vote, or shut up. Without immigration reform-we will continue to pay others for the privlege of living here without paying taxes. I would love to have free healthcare-perhaps I will move to Mexico, give up my citizenship, then sneak back and show up for free services in the US!

Palin now shows how low she is willing to go to support a shadow of a man that is desparate. If this is how she chooses to play the game, then I say that the investigations in Alaska about her abuse of office should proceed as quickly as possible with whatever will get her indicted and jailed.

it's about time some one spoke rev wright, tony rezko william goes on and on and with all these and lots obama needs to explain these associations....OBAMA'S CHARACTER, OBAMA'S JUDGMENT, OBAMA'S VALUES ARE ALL IN QUESTION ...BIG TIME.. ITS MORE THAN JUSTIFIED.

"If anyone paid any attention to her rhetoric speech/statements during the V.P. debate, Palin copied many of George W.'s rhetoric from the 2000 V.P. debate"-

George W. didn't run for V.P. Do you really not know this? What are you doing here?

"Palin is the one who wants to expand the role of the V.P.- sounds awfully similar to Cheney."

Sounds exactly like Cheney. Palin said she would NOT do this. Do you hear something twist it around in your head then regurgitate your own stupid version of events?

There should be a simple IQ test before allowing posts here.

Gurious George called Palin "a truly despicable person" for making "such a horrible accusation" against Obama. This shows just how out of touch the Obama partisans are. The "accusation" was first made by Hillary Clinton back in April. Does Curious George consider Hillary a truly despicable person also?

It is the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers who is the truly despicable person and what is horrible is that the accusation is a proven fact. Obama and Ayers served together on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, between 1999 and 2002. In addition, Ayers contributed money to Obama's re-election fund to the Illinois State Senate in April 2001. They lived within a few blocks of each other in the trendy Hyde Park section of Chicago, and moved in the same liberal circles where they became friends and allies. Before he started running for president, Obama praised Ayers and openly supported him. These are the facts.

Tony Rezko, Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers: How many other skeletons are in Obama's closet? You know a man by his associations and the prospect of an Obama presidency should scare anyone who loves this country.

Put me down as one more Hillary supporter who is voting for McCain.

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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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