Mona Charen

Other than zinging Sen. Clinton by pointing out that Bill Clinton had pardoned two members of the Weather Underground (there's that taint again), Obama's response was lame and deceptive. " The notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn't make much sense, George." Doesn't it? Obama and Ayers served together on the eight-person board of directors of the Wood Fund. An early organizing meeting about Obama's political career was held in Ayers' living room. This isn't just "somebody he knows." Some of us wouldn't even shake hands with Ayers, far less accept a $200 donation and his hospitality. Suppose John McCain had a similar relationship with abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph?

With every peel of the onion, Barack Obama is revealed to have hard-left friends and allies. The list of questionable friends extends not just to Ayers, Rezko, and Wright, but also to Rashid Khalidi, professor at Columbia and another fundraising host for Obama. Khalidi, whose heroes include the late Edward Said and Noam Chomsky, is a cheerleader for the PLO who spits contempt for Israel.

In his memoir, Obama recalls that in his college days, he sat up late with friends discussing ''neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism and patriarchy." To "avoid being mistaken for a sellout," he selected his friends carefully. "The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance artists." On first reading I thought that he'd achieved ironic distance from this jejune leftism. But maybe not. And now, to paraphrase his pastor and mentor, the chickens are coming home to roost.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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