Obama, of course, had huge incentive to diminish the extent of their professional and personal relationship. Ayers was a full-fledged terrorist, tied to a broader network of radicals that sought the fall of the US economy and/or government. It would seem likely that if it was known that Obama approved grants to Ayers' organiation, or that they attended the same social events regularly, people would question Obama's values and vision for the country. How is listening to the musings of a terrorist going to help Obama shape goals for the country? The media, much as they did for the Reverend Wright story, aided Obama in diminishing it by not even asking perfunctory questions about the relationship.
Recently, however, a couple of stories emerged that make the Ayers' ghostwriting story worth another look. First, a couple of weeks ago, Jack Cashill, a professor of American Studies at Purdue, wrote about a (another? are you kidding?) forthcoming Obama biography:
To flesh out his family history, Obama had taped interviews with various family members. Andersen writes, "These oral histories, along with a partial manuscript and a truckload of notes, were given to Ayers." Andersen quotes a Hyde Park neighbor, "Everyone knew they were friends and that they worked on various projects together. It was no secret. Why would it be? People liked them both."
Now, in a strangely worded exchange with a conservative blogger, Anne Leary, Ayers has admitted to writing the book:
Then, unprompted he said--I wrote Dreams From My Father. I said, oh, so you admit it. He said--Michelle asked me to. I looked at him. He seemed eager. He's about my height, short. He went on to say--and if you can prove it, we can split the royalties. So I said, stop pulling my leg. Horrible thought. But he came again--I really wrote it, the wording was similar. I said I believe you probably heavily edited it. He said--I wrote it. I said--why would I believe you, you're a liar.Obviously, it's a he-said, she-said if anyone chooses to dispute the account (which the entire media, most liberals you know, Obama, and maybe even Ayers will choose to). Still, it's another account that lends credence to the theory that Obama's rhetorical eloquence and pensive demeanor are the products of a cold-hearted domestic terrorist. It also begs the question: what has Obama done in his life that would stand up next to the resume of the average college graduate? William Jacobson, of Legal Insurrection, has the best take:
Will Obama issue a denial of Ayers' accusation? Will the usually compliant press ask a real question for once? Probably neither, which is too bad.
I think we are entitled to know whose Dream it was, since we are living the nightmare now.