Last night was another debate that failed to live up to expectations. Barack Obama failed to give an adequate answer on his relationship with William Ayers, a former member of the Weather Underground. While the acts of terrorism Ayers was implicated in may have taken place when Obama was a tyke, this does not excuse him for enlisting his support.
Obama, however, did show fierce competitiveness when he pointed out that Bill Clinton had himself pardoned a former member of the Weather Underground. Had Obama wanted, he could have continued to raise the entire issue of Bill Clinton’s actions in 1999 and 2000, including commuting the sentences of several former members of the FALN, a Puerto Rican radical group, which like the Weather Underground was responsible for bombings in Clinton’s adopted hometown, New York City as well as the pardoning of the unsavory financier, Marc Rich, who has been linked to unsavory regimes in Iran and Iraq.
Since Clinton herself opened the door to this line of inquiry, Obama could have also asked her to respond to this painstakingly-detailed report by Josh Gerstein in The New York Sun about her legal work on behalf of radicals, such as the Black Panthers and other as a law student. Clinton certainly didn’t position herself last night as the flower child she was back in the 1960s.