Whenever conservatives noted -- accurately -- that candidate Barack Obama's past was laden with extremely questionable associations during the 2008 campaign, liberals would descend into self-righteous histrionics. Stop the lies, they'd bellow, displaying exactly zero interest in whether the "lies" might, in fact, be true. One of the so-called smears the Obama campaign valiantly fought off was the claim Obama had a close relationship with unrepentant domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. Team Obama said Ayers was merely "a guy who lived in Obama's neighborhood," and little more. Confronted with a report that Ayers and Dohrn had launched Obama's career with a meet-and-greet fundraiser in the duo's home, campaign spokesman -- and future White House Press Secretary -- Robert Gibbs issued a categorical denial (watch the first minute or so of this clip, via Breitbart TV):
Matthews: Did [Ayers] have a fundraiser for [Obama], or not?
Gibbs: No, he did not have a fundraiser for our candidate as he said ten seconds ago.
Gibbs called the Republicans' assertion of fact a "myth" that had been debunked by the local and national press. This was a lie. Click 'play' and watch the balance of the clip, which includes Ayers' nonchalant admission that the fundraiser did take place after all. Fact: Barack Obama launched his political career in the home of two people who coordinated bombings of the US Capitol, Pentagon, and NYPD headquarters, among other places. Their radical organization also plotted to bomb an army dance at Fort Dix, but (thankfully) failed spectacularly. Did Gibbs knowlingly lie to Chris Matthews, or did Obama lie to his staff? I'd imagine the reality is some combination of the two. I wrote extensively on this subject during the last campaign, when I was living in Chicago. In fact, I'll direct you to my August 24, 2008 Townhall column, which offered a point-by-point refutation of the campaign's perfidious Obama/Ayers "fact sheet." A brief taste:
Let's examine Obama's claim that his connection to Ayers and Dohrn is "tenuous" and "phony." Is it phony that Obama's political coming-out party in the mid-1990s was hosted by Ayers and Dohrn? What about the panel discussions in which Ayers and Obama both took part—that were organized by Michelle Obama? Tenuous? I suppose the goodbye party for prominent Israel basher and Arafat apologist Rashid Khalidi, attended by Obama, Ayers and Dohrn, is also unworthy of discussion. That Khalidi himself hosted a fundraiser for Obama's first Congressional campaign must be completely irrelevant, too.
Then there's the pesky fact that Obama and Ayers served together on the board of the Woods Fund for three years—and continued to do so even after Ayers was quoted in the New York Times fondly recalling his days as a bomber, and despairing that he hadn't "done more." (This quote, the Obama fact sheet reminds us, comes from an interview that just happened to be published on 9/11—Ayers had made the incendiary remarks earlier. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel a lot better). The funds Obama and Ayers helped control at the Woods Foundation funneled thousands of dollars into both Khalidi's organization and the now-infamous Trinity United Church of Christ. Irrelevant, phony distractions? So what if the Obama campaign's top strategist concedes that the Senator's relationship with the terrorist is "friendly"? I apologize for even devoting this much attention to such tenuous and unimportant information.
Obama's "fact" sheet then brings us the crucial bulletin that all charges against Ayers were dropped, and that he spent no time in jail. Absolutely true. Except a minor detail was omitted: Ayers openly admits he is "guilty as sin" but "free as a bird." Charges were dropped because federal authorities overstepped their legal bounds in pursuing the Weathermen, not because the charges were unfounded.
In case there's any lingering doubt about the nature of Obama's close relationship with Ayers, watch this extraordinarily thorough CNN report. Pay close attention to the bit starting around the 4:30 mark:
"Where was that introduction made? At the home of the sixties radicals, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. The Obama campaign again says it is just a coincidence."
As I wrote in my Tony Rezko post last week, the minutiae of Obama's shady past is unlikely to even register a blip on voters' 2012 radar. Americans no longer have to judge Obama on who he might be, or what he may or may not have done in the past. They instead will judge him on his terrible stewardship of the economy, his failed initiatives, and his petty partisanship. Nevertheless, I think it's always relevant to set the record straight and to expose the Team Obama's indignant 2008 assertions for what they were: Self-serving lies. The Barack Obama that was masterfully sold to the American people three years ago was a fraud. That should be relevant to voters as they weigh whether or not he deserves four more years to inflict his agenda upon an already-struggling nation.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography