PJ Media

Can Obama Survive the Annenberg Cover-up?

Throughout the summer months, many voters supporting John McCain have been frustrated by his failure to respond forcefully to Obama’s charges against him. I felt his failure to swat about at each charge was because he was an old fighter pilot, taught to hold his fire and stay concealed as long as possible. If circumstances permitted, he would not budge until his opponent had made a potentially fatal move from which it was going to be exceedingly hard to extricate himself. Whether my assessment was right or not, it appears that the moment to strike has arrived, and like the old fighter pilot descending from the cloud cover, McCain has taken full advantage of Obama’s errors to place him in a position from which I can see no way out for him.

I’m talking about Obama’s role in the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and his ill-conceived ad attacking McCain’s associations which opened the door for McCain to bring to public view something Obama has — with clear media connivance — lied about and tried to conceal: His close association with William Ayers in a program he botched.

The last thing Obama should want made public are his dubious associates. The public has had some exposure to his long time spiritual adviser, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, many have heard of the convicted Chicago fixer Tony Rezko, and some have just a bit of knowledge about William Ayers. As McCain said Wednesday: “[I]f Barack Obama wants to have a discussion about truly questionable associations, let’s start with his relationship with the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, at whose home Obama’s political career was reportedly launched . Mr. Ayers was a leader of the Weather Underground, a terrorist group responsible for countless bombings against targets including the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and numerous police stations, courthouses and banks. In recent years Mr. Ayers has stated, ‘I don’t regret setting bombs. … I feel we didn’t do enough.'”

The background of this matter has been hashed out for some months online at Slate, The American Thinker, Just One Minute and Global Labor. National Review Online joined in more recently. But if you missed the story or were unable to keep up with it, it began when Obama lied about the extent of his relationship with Ayers and the press gave him a pass. Obama gave varying accounts of this relationship:

“…a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received an official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from (sic) on a regular basis.”

“Now, Mr. Ayres is a 60 plus year old individual who lives in my neighborhood, who did something I deplore 40 years ago when I was six or seven years old. By the time I met him, he was a professor of education at the University of Illinois.”

So, the story was that Ayers was an old professor in Mr. Obama’s neighborhood who just happened to host a fundraiser for him in 1995 which launched his political career.

Some mush was thrown in along the way about having served with him on a charity board, but Obama did not correctly describe the charity or the dates or the extent of their association on it.

The truth is that the two men worked closely together for years, beginning several months before that 1995 fundraiser. The fund Obama chaired and which was supposed to improve public education in Chicago never met its stated purpose of improving public school pupils’ performance and, in fact, probably hindered it, despite having blown through $110 million in the process. And as chairman of this group Obama funneled this money to politically useful types including Fidelistas and Maoists who like Ayers (now vice-president elect of the American Education Research Association) are working to make our public schools indoctrination centers for the left .

Once the public learns more of the CAC, will the voters decide that the manner in which Obama exercised his sole opportunity at executive authority was so good that he deserves the keys to the Oval Office?

Will the voters conclude that the old- professor- in- the- neighborhood story was so disingenuous that Obama was lying to hide from them facts they deserved to know — indeed, facts every bit as relevant as Hillary’s failure at health care reform about which they were informed in the primaries?

Will voters who consider education an important issue — and surely that includes many important voter groups for Obama — take kindly to a man who took $110 million of charitable funds which were earmarked for improving public education and squandered it on salaries for men like Weatherman Ayers and Michael Klonsky, the Maoist leader of the Revolutionary Youth Movement which worked with the Weather Underground and who at the time of CAC’s lavish grants to him worked as a cab driver?

Will the voters regard it as relevant that while Ayers and Obama were furthering their career interests in the disposition of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge millions, they did absolutely nothing — per a formal review of the program — to improve the academic performance of the pupils in their program and, indeed, may have hindered their academic progress by trying to turn every school they worked with into laboratories of revolutionary action in line with Ayres’ authoritarian agenda and belief that the public school system is “nothing but a reflection of capitalist hegemony”?

At the moment, the University of Illinois inexplicably has refused to make public all of the documents on the Annenberg Challenge, though on Friday after considerable criticism they announced they will release the documents on Tuesday. The library has refused to name the donor it claims is blocking the release of the documentation. The major media are still dancing the dance of seven veils around the story, but McCain has kicked the story up a notch and the blogosphere is not letting go of it. And the reason for all of this, I believe, is because the University which played a major role in this rip off, the press which is so invested in Obama, and the blogosphere all know the answer to the questions I posed.

This story is going to kill Obama at the polls.