Hugh Hewitt

Before we comment on the significance of Barack Obama's connection to William Ayers, the domestic terrorist from the '60s Weatherman Underground, let's get the facts of the connection out.

On February, 22 Ben Smith of Politico.com wrote this introduction to his story on the Obama-Ayers relationship:

In 1995, State Senator Alice Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the district’s influential liberals at the home of two well known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

While Ayers and Dohrn may be thought of in Hyde Park as local activists, they’re better known nationally as two of the most notorious — and unrepentant — figures from the violent fringe of the 1960s anti-war movement.

Now, as Obama runs for president, what two guests recall as an unremarkable gathering on the road to a minor elected office stands as a symbol of how swiftly he has risen from a man in the Hyde Park left to one closing in fast on the Democratic nomination for president.

“I can remember being one of a small group of people who came to Bill Ayers’ house to learn that Alice Palmer was stepping down from the senate and running for Congress,” said Dr. Quentin Young, a prominent Chicago physician and advocate for single-payer health care, of the informal gathering at the home of Ayers and his wife, Dohrn. “[Palmer] identified [Obama] as her successor.”

Obama and Palmer “were both there,” he said.

Three days earlier, the New York Sun had reported some additional details:

As an Illinois state senator in 2001, Mr. Obama accepted a $200 contribution from William Ayers, a founding member of the group that bombed the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon during the 1970s.

Mr. Ayers wrote a memoir, "Fugitive Days," published in 2001, and on the day of the September 11 terrorist attacks, he was quoted by the New York Times as saying: "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough."

He and Mr. Obama served together on the nine-member board of the Woods Fund, a Chicago nonprofit, for three years beginning in 1999, and they have also appeared jointly on two academic panels, one in 1997 and another in 2001. Mr. Ayers, who was never convicted in the Weather Underground bombings, is now a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

So we have at least a political friendship that began in 1995, and they became professional colleagues in 1999.

More details will certainly emerge if the MSM decides that the Democratic front-runner's association with a terrorist matters to voters.


Hugh Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt is host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show. Hugh Hewitt's new book is The War On The West.