Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times: “There Is No Recorded Basis” for McCain’s Claim That Obama Launched His Political Career in Bill Ayers’ Living Room

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:39 pm

No “recorded basis,” eh? Only if you don’t count the 2005 blog entry by a liberal who was there when it happened.

Here’s the Los Angeles Times today, in an editorial titled McCain’s Debatable Strategy:

And then, returning to Ayers, McCain alleged that Obama launched his political career in the former Weatherman’s living room, an assertion for which there is no recorded basis.

And this is from the Musings & Migraines blog, January 27, 2005:

When I first met Barack Obama, he was giving a standard, innocuous little talk in the livingroom of those two legends-in-their-own-minds, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. They were launching him–introducing him to the Hyde Park community as the best thing since sliced bread.

How will the L.A. Times defend this? By saying it wasn’t “recorded” because it’s a blog entry and not a podcast??

I think I’ll write the Readers’ Rep and see.

The author is no conservative. She goes on to fault Obama for being an insufficiently authentic liberal, and criticizes him for being too chummy with Republicans. [UPDATE: And, I meant to add, the existence of this blog entry was reported by Politico in February. So it’s not like the editors had no reason to know.]

No recorded basis, eh?

P.S. The liberals’ defense du jour on this McCain claim is to quibble over insignificant details: e.g. some rabbi’s wife thinks she remembers having a similar event before Ayers’s event — so the “launched” claim is a LIE!!!11!!1!

In a particularly amusing blog entry at the Chicago Sun Times, Lynn Sweet assures us that McCain “is misleading the public by overplaying the size and significance of Ayers’ early support.” But Sweet’s underlying facts neatly undermine this conclusion. Sweet tells us: “Obama’s campaign really was launched when he got the backing of then state Sen. Alice Palmer (D-Chicago), who wanted him to replace her as she was planning a run for Congress. Palmer’s backing gave him entrée into local influential political circles.” And she quotes a supporter as saying that “the event at Bill Ayers’ house (prior to ours) was a fund-raiser for Alice’s congressional campaign at which she also introduced Barack as the successor she would like to see elected.”

So, to sum up: at Ayers’s house, Alice Palmer gave Obama her official support, by declaring him to be her anointed successor. And his campaign “really was launched” when he received her official support. Applying the transitive property:

Sounds like his political career “really was launched” at Ayers’s house.

UPDATE: The L.A. Times will not be correcting its error. Details in this post.

43 Responses to “L.A. Times: “There Is No Recorded Basis” for McCain’s Claim That Obama Launched His Political Career in Bill Ayers’ Living Room”

  1. Patterico — Alice Palmer is quoted in the recent CNN piece on the relationship as saying she did not arrange the event at the Ayer’s house for Obama, she was invited to attend so she did attend, leaving after being there only a short period, and she did not know who was responsible for organizing the event.

    CNN cited another attendee as saying it was clear that it was Ayers and Dohrn who organized the event on Obama’s behalf.

    I’ll look for that piece.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  2. Don’t fault Lynn Sweet too much. In a city whose First Ward was is controlled by the mob, where dozens of judges have gone to jail (and at least one “suicided”) for fixing cases, where the Combine prorates the take between Republicans and Democrats, and you don’t get nothing if “you ain’t somebody somebody sent”, a dilletantish piece of garbage like Ayers is a joke to the people who really do run things.

    nk (f2ee58)

  3. Clearly, Patterico thinks we (speaking generally) can keep doing the same thing we’ve been doing and somehow something different will be the result.

    In this case, the MSM will always give BHO the benefit of the doubt. So, it’s pretty pointless to argue over things like this, since the MSM is always going to make it so BHO comes out on top.

    Look, if anyone wants to actually stop BHO from becoming president, think up some tough questions and go ask them at his appearances. Just like Joe the Plumber, although this time like “Pete the Prosecutor”.

    To recap:
    1. Go to a BHO appearance.
    2. Read a tough question from a card.
    3. Get video of his response.
    4. Upload to Youtube.

    How to Defeat Barack Obama (793149)

  4. Here is the CNN link:

    The specific portion is at the the 3:05 mark. Both Palmer and the other witness, Dr. Quentin Young, are quoted by CNN.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  5. I’ve already addressed this, How to Defeat Barack Obama. I’m not a campaign strategist. I’m a blogger and primarily a media critic.

    Even if it’s not a topic you think McCain should be discussing, that doesn’t mean I’m going to let the media lie about it.


    Patterico (cc3b34)

  6. I don’t know how many of my neighbors go to YouTube. I’ll be dropping off three thousand leaflets, door to door.

    nk (f2ee58)

  7. Lie lie lie, lie lie lie, lying all the way, oh what fun it is to lie when I’m The One today! Ok it looses a little at the end, but the basis is this: Lie and keep lying, lie and lie and if you repeat a lie enough times, some dolts out there are going to start to believe it simply because they have heard it soooo many times, it must be true. Oh yeah, and the other rule is this: If you’re going to lie, lie big! Don’t go for any penny-ante little lies. Make them WHOPPERS so everyone will think, wow no one would tell that big of a lie, so it must be true. Taken from the OBiden Handbook on how to hoodwink Americans 101. What was the final tally on Biden’s lies at his and Palin’s debate, McCain Campaign started with 14 and then the list gre to something like 22 or something.

    The Light of the Truth needs to shine on OBiden and it needs to shine from now until the polls close on election day. The MSM Old Media are frantically doing everything they can to deter, weaken and block the Light of Truth from shining on The Chosen One because they know that once in the light, he will wither and die. As long as McCain stays within 5 points of OBiden, he’ll win on election day. If he’s 5-10 points down, it will be a nail biter toss-up. If OBiden is 10+ up, it’s time to stock up on guns and ammo before all our rights are taken away from us, for our own good because The One knows what’s best for us.

    J. Raymond Wright (0440ef)

  8. “No “recorded basis,” eh?”

    Patterico, you Canajan, eh?

    BlacquesJacquesShellacqes (7058ae)

  9. All I can say is that Lynn Sweet backed up Carol Marin on Obama’s “I’ve already answered eight questions.

    nk (f2ee58)

  10. Obama’s lies are covered over by his MSM enablers and the task seems hopeless EXCEPT, Gallup shows them tied. Maybe the average Joe is figuring this out.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  11. WaPo’s ‘FactChecker’ Michael Dobbs:

    “It is true Obama attended a coffee meeting at Ayers’ home after he announced his intention to run for the state senate in September 1995.”

    How he knows the series of Hyde Park coffees came after the Ramada Inn announcement, I don’t know.

    “The kickoff for Obama’s Senate run came at a meeting in the Hyde Park Ramada Inn on Sept. 19, 1995.”

    steve (411cd0)

  12. The liberal blogger’s account is quoted in the Politico story earlier this year that broke this story. So, the Musings & Migraine post was published in a press story.

    Dantana (205f0f)

  13. Barack Obama is the Joseph Goebbels of modern American politics.
    He has created a lie;
    He lives his life to the lie;
    He fully expects us to believe his lie;
    for, in his mind, it is the Truth!

    Another Drew (6ac001)

  14. So is everyone just pretending Axelrod never said their kids go to school together?

    The whole “launched” vs “one of the early events” is vital, but the lie about the school isn’t?

    This, from Dobbs:

    But according to Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, who has tracked Obama’s political career closely, the Ayers’ event was only one of a series of coffees in the Hyde Park community where he lived.

    Lynne Sweet never introduced the Chicago Annenberg Challenge into the public debate, nor was she one of the first to disclose this coffee at the Ayres house.
    She did not discuss it until it had been reported on by others.
    Having said that, where it fell in the series of events doesn’t matter. Obama at one time led reporters to believe that is where he met Ayres.
    It took some digging to discover they had already been working together at the CAC for several months before that event took place.

    MayBee (c0df75)

  15. Patterico: Apparently I wasn’t being clear. I support you, McCain, and everyone else bringing up Ayers. And, I strongly support people going to a BHO appearance and asking him a fact-based, non-rant tough question about Ayers.

    What I was pointing out is that when it comes to something so fine as the definition of where BHO was “launched”, you’ll always lose out to the MSM. They’ll provide one definition of “launched” and then use their differing definition to throw everything out the window.

    To avoid the MSM playing games, I’d suggest a broader strategy, such as pointing out specific lies, or pointing to the differing accounts from the BHO campaign of his relationship with Ayers.

    How to Defeat Barack Obama (793149)

  16. But… but … it was Dohrn’s living room. Not Ayers’. He gets the upstairs, she the downstairs.

    Sadly the facts don’t seem to work out for McCain on this one. The facts I just made up.

    Uncle Pinky (834163)

  17. Uncle Pinky- I heard it may have been held in the great room.
    Or the rumpus room.
    Perhaps the family room and kitchen.
    But not the living room. McCain is a liar.

    MayBee (c0df75)

  18. MayBee- I had thought it was a possession lie.
    You have made me see that it was a location lie.
    What if it were in the parlor. A semantic lie?
    Any way you look at it, it is a lie and McCain is an obvious liar.

    Where’s Semanticleo to light our way out of this impenetrable murk.

    Uncle Pinky (834163)

  19. We could always get that swordfish Uncle Pinky and hang a lantern from the front.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  20. The weird thing is we keep undervaluing the contribution of the female.

    She’s a convicted felon, right? In a case where she was convicted of withholding evidence about cop-killers?

    Ayers may have been somewhat refurbished (although I don’t think you get to be a ‘former terrorist’ without some amazing backtracking. None of which is in evidence.) – but her history was still quite fresh.

    Al (b624ac)

  21. What I was pointing out is that when it comes to something so fine as the definition of where BHO was “launched”, you’ll always lose out to the MSM. They’ll provide one definition of “launched” and then use their differing definition to throw everything out the window.

    The person WHO WAS THERE said “launched.”

    What more do you want to show that the media has lied?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  22. Did daleyrocks just call me a swordfish?

    Must be past my pass-out time. Haven’t had a chance to interact in far too long, but it’s good to see that the stalwarts remain.

    G’Night, all.

    Uncle Pinky (834163)

  23. This is becoming so much fun!

    love2008 (1b037c)

  24. Uncle Pinky, I mighta oughta coulda shoulda used a comma perhaps, but you never know about those things. No offense meant.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  25. Obama is kicking McCain’s ass in the current election, while McCain’s team is still trying to prove to us when and where Obama’s very first campaign really started. Because that’s something that’s really important.

    Talk about being unable to see the forest for the trees . . .

    Phil (3b1633)

  26. Alice Palmer was one of the biggest commies in the IL State Legislature. So one commie introduces Barack at the house party of another commie in a room filled with commies. Isn’t that special? But the media is more concerned with Plumber Joe’s tax liens than a hotbed of commies launching the career of Barack Obama.

    eaglewingz08 (98291e)

  27. I think Obama is too smart to believe that his lies are the truth. He is just so shrewd and cunning that he gets satisfaction out of knowing that he is pulling the wool over America’s eyes. Once he’s in office, then he can get back to his questionable associations and continue to spread his leftist illuminati views.

    Jeff (8f2767)

  28. Man, you guys really are crazy. I never believed people were actually this stupid. So what if Obama had a coffee clatch at a neighbors house. I would remind all of you nutjob conspiracy yahoos that Mr. Ayers was convicted of NOTHING. Therefore, he is an innocent man according to the laws of the United States of America. As such your fevered, illogical rantings are nothing more than slander and libel. Now, for the REAL issue that you never seem too interested in. McCain “palled” around with Charles Keating who destroyed savings for real Americans. Where is your indignation over that scandal? Huh? Where is it? You talk of McCain’s integrity? Weren’t you the same people who castigated and impeached a man for having an affair? What about McCain’s affair? Its the same thing people. You’re a bunch of partisan right wing crazies and the American public is getting ready to send you to the far reaches of an embarrassing past for this country. None to soon for me. I lived through the sixties and saw you raise the ugly head of racism. I watched in horror as Palin stoked those flames of hatred — then watched as you sat in the audience and screamed “traitor”, “kill him” etc. You really are contemptable.
    You will not get away with it this time. Your days are numbered. Your fascist/racist ranting days are OVER. Joseph Goebbels indeed! Its the American Taliban who lies, then believes its own lies, then tries to make its lies part of the legal framework in this country in direct contravention of the US Constitution. You’re subversive revolutionaries and will be stopped. You’ve had your turn at power and look where it got us. The laughing stock of the world and a ruined economy. Thanks, but no thanks.

    Cal (07daef)

  29. 28 god, where to start? So many canards, projections and outright lies in your post. One example- McCain was exonerated of any wrongdoing in the long ago Keating Affair. Your liberal playmates did bad. Lib atty. Bennett even said McCain did nothing wrong. In any case, we’ve been over this BS subject over and over. The liar is Obama and his retarded minions who astroturf. Tell us about Obama’s thugs who try to stifle free speech at every opportunity? What does it matter if Joe the Plumber was a mass murderer even? Obama approached him and responded to a sensible question. So the object of your lust didn’t respond in a way that would endear him to most Americans who actually work hard or yearn to own a business? Get over it, buffoon. Obama is responsible for what words come out of his mouth. And yet dipwads like Tokyo Rose thinks McCain planted Joe the Plumber? What a freaking joke. And even if he did, why should he be blamed for Obama’s response. Instead we see the Obama mafia trying to destroy an ordinary citizen with the help of a compliant media.

    BTw, feck the world’s opinion of the US. You liberals are laughed at by us. How about the fact that Congress is the one who appropriates money and Congress insisted on ignoring McCain and Bush on the failings of Freddie and Fanny. Two years of Congressional control by dems and exactly WHAT the hell have they accomplished? Oh, most ethical in history? hahahahaha. They, like you, are a total joke. And look at THEIR approval ratings.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  30. Cal #28 —

    Thanks for the insights. You say,

    So what if Obama had a coffee clatch at a neighbors house… Mr. Ayers was convicted of NOTHING. Therefore, he is an innocent man… As such your fevered, illogical rantings are nothing more than slander and libel.

    I think it would be very refreshing if Sen. Obama followed your lead, and made these same excellent points. I expect that with his permission, his supporters in the media would then start to look at these questions. That would be an improvement to political discourse in this country.

    AMac (c822c9)

  31. Cal – We are all wiser for having read your eloquent post. Thank you.

    JD (f7900a)

  32. #28 Cal

    By that logic, Osama Bin Laden is also completely innocent, so why not sit down and have coffee with him?

    President McCain will get up in the morning and say, today we are going to kill some terrorist.

    President Obama will get up in the morning and say, today I will have lunch with some terrorist.

    ML (14488c)

  33. Earth to Cal (of course, if “Cal” is a pseudonym referrincing a relationship to California, he truly is “out in space”), Bill Ayers is a self-admitted terrorist who’s only regret over his activities is that he did not do more of them.
    He is only “un-convicted” due to the malfeasance of law enforcement.
    John McCain was asked to intervene in the regulatory process by Charles Keating, and was refused! No Harm, No Foul!
    What Affair? Not introduced into evidence.
    If you Cal, actually lived in the sixties, and were anything but a toddler, I can only assume that the drug-induced haze you perambulated about in prevented you from actually witnessing anything.
    And, yes, all of our days are numbered – but not by you.
    So, please do all of us a favor, and climb back into your crack-pipe, and rejoin that trip your were on.
    Oh, and by the way, we really don’t give a rat’s ass what the rest of the World says about us, as long as they spell our name right! It is only insecure weenies like yourself, and the rest of the oh so superior, intellectual dilettanti that have vapors when some obscure writer in the “Old World” gets his knickers in a knot.
    So, have a nice day, and stop bothering your betters.

    Another Drew (7894e6)

  34. It’s time to close the Los Angeles Times, or try printing it exclusively in Spanish. It’s a failed enterprise.

    Official Internet Data Office (1e8f8a)

  35. This charming defense

    Lynn Sweet assures us that McCain “is misleading the public by overplaying the size and significance of Ayers’ early support”

    brings to mind a simple way that Sweet and her fellow impartial journalists could improve the campaign.

    That would be to ask simple questions of Sen. Obama that invite simple answers. Journalists hate lawyerly, run-out-the-clock evasive answers, you know.

    Since Sweet is sweet on Ayers, here’s a query to get her started:

    Senator Obama, when did you first meet Bill Ayers? Was it in 1988, in the course of your work on the ABC Coalition, or in 1995, when Ayers appointed you as Chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge?

    Declarative statements like “I didn’t meet Ayers in 1988” or “Ayers didn’t appoint me as Chairman of the CAC in 1995” would certainly help to move the discussion forward.

    Though further investigation could lead to awkward moments for NPR and so many others. We wouldn’t want that!

    AMac (c822c9)

  36. Liberals sure love to toss the idea that conservatives are all racist.

    Yet the facts say something completely different. It took a republican president (Bush) to promote minorities to the highest public office in the history of this county.

    It was southern democrats that for 100 years after the civil war kept black Americans from voting. Ironically it’s the same democrats that get credit for saving the black Americans from the democratic party.

    Also ironically the democrats will get credit for bailing out the mortgage industry and as before it was democrats that caused the problem.

    One political party in America has a reputation of being racist and its not the party of Lincoln.

    ML (14488c)

  37. Here’s a list of Obama’s fellow terrorists in Illinois.

    You guys know how to find these people and do what is necessary to rid our country of these terrorist scum:

    1. Patricia Albjerg Graham

    2. Barack Obama, civil rights attorney at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland; lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School; member of the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation and the Woods Fund of Chicago; winner, Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40 award, 1993; former president of the Harvard Law Review (1990–1991); former executive director of the Developing Communities Project (June 1985–May 1988)[25][41][42][43]

    3. Stanley O. Ikenberry, president of the University of Illinois (1979–1995); member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago (1983–1995); former professor of education (1965–1971) and senior vice president (1971–1979) of Pennsylvania State University

    4. Arnold R. Weber, president of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago (1995–1999); member of the board of directors of the Arie and Ida Crown Memorial and the Tribune Company; former president of Northwestern University (1985–1994) and the University of Colorado (1980–1985); professor of labor economics and friend and colleague of George P. Shultz at MIT, the University of Chicago, and in the Nixon administration[44]

    5. Raymond G. Romero, vice president and general counsel of Ameritech; Chicago School Finance Authority board member (appointed in 1992 by Governor Jim Edgar); candidate in the 1996 Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District of Illinois; winner, Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40 award, 1991; former Illinois Commerce Commission commissioner (appointed in 1985 by Governor Jim Thompson); former civil rights attorney as Midwest regional director of MALDEF where he was lead counsel for Hispanic plaintiffs in the 1985 Chicago ward remap[43][45]

    6. Wanda White, executive director of the Community Workshop on Economic Development; former policy director of the Women’s Self-Employment Project; former deputy commissioner of economic development under Chicago Mayors Washington, Sawyer and Daley

    7. Susan M. Crown, president of the Arie and Ida Crown Memorial; vice president of Henry Crown & Company; daughter of Lester Crown[40][46]

    8. Handy L. Lindsey, Jr., executive director (1988–1997) then president (1997–2003) of the Field Foundation of Illinois; outgoing chairman of the Donors Forum of Chicago; former associate director of the Chicago Community Trust (1986–1988)[40]

    Harry_Callahan (12815c)

  38. Of course the LA Times is going to report that McCain’s claims are bogus. The Times is one of the most liberal papers in the country. They are just part of Obama’s leftist illuminati rhetoric that is painting him as the savior of America.

    Jeff (3396e6)

  39. #29

    >BTw, feck the world’s opinion of the US

    How old are you, 12? We are a globalized society, but I suppose nationalistic idealogues are in vogue.


    Neither party is your friend if you are a common citizen. What delusional landscape do you inhabit? Capitalism has no friends except those that increase profits, and I say this as a capitalist. However, unfettered capitalism without moral guidance is what has led to the current crises and may perhaps lead to the downfall of this nation. Greed is what we must worry about, much more than canards citing “Hussein the Socialist Terrorist Sympathizer” as a threat to American freedoms.

    Michael A. (03f057)

  40. Michael A., that’s complete nonsense. Unfettered capitalism has nothing to do with the current crisis, because the MBS market is not unfettered capitalism. The government sponsored enterprises created more than half of those securities. They have been cooking their books for years, while democrats used them as a slush fund.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  41. SPQR-
    The government sponsored enterprises created more than half of those securities.

    Please point us to the data that supports your assertion. In my view, responsibility lies at the feet of both parties, who used all manner of government programs as well as lax regulation and cronyism that combined, got us to where we are today.

    “According to recent Fed data, 75 percent of higher-priced loans during the peak years of the subprime boom were made by independent mortgage firms and bank affiliates that were not covered by the [Community Reinvestment Act].”

    By most indications, one can reasonably determine that Fannie and Freddie were only “playing catch-up” in a market that was already busy chasing high profits in an unregulated MBS market. Unfettered capitalism, or more correctly corporatism (I have few troubles with capitalism itself).

    Democrats, Republicans, Wall Street, community banks and homeowners are all to blame. This was a lie perpetuated by everyone, that the key to the American Dream is home ownership. In times of inflated valuation, this is preposterous. Buy at the peak, go into foreclosure when a slackening economy limits your ability to repay. Rinse, repeat, bring the whole world down with you.

    Michael A. (03f057)

  42. Obama 08!
    Thats all I have to say about that!
    Obama 08!

    Timmons (8f0b57)

  43. Barack Obama can fool a lot of people but we know better. I will never vote for someone who has been friends with terrorists. He has a horrible agenda for America. Have you ever wondered by radical groups in the Middle East want him to win?

    God Protect Americans, the World and us All!

    Nancy (32827b)

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