Obama's record of reaching across party lines is, as his own answer to Rick Warren's recent Saddleback Civil Forum showed, pretty thin. His paper trail is surprisingly thin, too. He has left no papers from his Illinois Senate days; he hasn't listed his law firm clients or provided more than one page of medical records; the papers of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which he chaired and in which the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers was heavily involved, were suddenly closed to National Review's Stanley Kurtz by the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois.
Mainstream media, with the conspicuous exception of ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, have shown little curiosity about Obama's connection with Ayers. It will also be interesting to see if there is much coverage of Obama's 2003 vote in Illinois against protecting infants born alive in attempted abortions, now that his campaign has conceded the bill was virtually identical to one that passed the U.S. Senate 98-0 in 2001.
Obama backers dismiss attempts to undermine his narrative as distractions or as racism, beyond the bounds of reasonable discourse. Most of the mainstream media tend to agree. Ayers is no more likely to appear at the convention than the disgraced John Edwards. But other media have a voice. Obama will probably get a nice bounce out of his convention. But it's not clear whether his narrative can be sustained in the weeks and months ahead.
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