Is Bill Ayers Now Playing Conservatives? Why He Should Not be Taken Seriously

In October 2008, Jack Cashill penned a much discussed blog, in which he suggested the possibility that Bill Ayers actually was the ghost writer for Barack Obama’s powerful memoir, Dreams From My Father. Later, he wrote yet another blog, reporting about many who sent him more material that they thought would corroborate his original suspicions about authorship of Obama’s first memoir.

Responding to Cashill’s work, I wrote my own blog about whether or not Bill Ayers wrote Dreams From My Father. I ended with some skeptical questions that must be addressed, particularly surrounding the assertion by author Christopher Andersen in his new book, Barack and Michelle: Portrait of a Marriage. Andersen gives no sources in his book for his assertions.  Hence one cannot verify whom he spoke with, and whether or not the stories he tells about Ayers writing the book are true. Indeed, when queried a bit later by Howard Kurtz, Andersen backtracked and denied that in his book, he had said that Ayers wrote it. I reread the passages in the book, and contrary to what he said to Kurtz, that is indeed precisely what he wrote. His denial to Kurtz, however, certainly makes it appear that Andersen is a bit worried that he has been caught in somewhat of a lie.

Nevertheless, I thought that Jack Cashill’s case had to be considered. Others think Cashill’s arguments are rather weak. At today, Scott Johnson calls Cashill’s arguments “speculative,” and his textual evidence rather “thin.” He notes, for example, that based on the kind of metaphoric threads he uses, both he and John Hinderaker could also qualify as Obama’s secret ghostwriters, if not for the fact that they did not live in Obama’s neighborhood when he was working on the book.

But now comes the article appearing yesterday from Anne Leary at Backyard Conservative. Bumping into him at Reagan National Airport, Ayers told her: “I wrote Dreams From My Father.” He then added that “Michelle told me to.” Leaving the site where they spoke, he said: “If you can prove it, we can split the royalties.” When Leary told him “Stop pulling my leg,” he responded: “I really wrote it. The wording was similar.” Leary persisted that perhaps he only edited it heavily, and again Ayers said he wrote it. She ended by asking Ayers why should she believe him, since he is a liar. He had no answer to that.  Almost immediately, the Independent D.C. Examiner picked up the story, and James Simpson complained that Ayers admitted his authorship, yet “one of the biggest political stories of the year is being completely overlooked by the Obama-struck mass media.” After reading Leary’s blog, he wrote that her report is possibly “direct confirmation…from Ayers himself.”