“Ayers has avoided reporters since he became an election talking-point, scratch-pole, and general sensation,” Lynn Sweet reports. “But now he answered the door of his three-story rowhouse, and I came to join the discussion.
“Ayers is sixty-four and has earrings in both ears. He wore jeans and Riley t-shirt – Riley the kid from Doonesbury. The day was fall-bright and 50th Street was filled with fallen gold leaves.Ayers waved to neighbors and kids as they went by on the sidewalk. He was, for the first time in a long time, in an expansive mood, making clear that in all the months his name has been at the forefront of the campaign, he and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn – ex-leaders of the Weather Underground and longtime educators and activists in the community – have been watching a lot of cable television, not least Fox.”
“On July 11, the Obama operation created an additional new fund-raising arm that has been fund-raising below the radar, in a drive to collect and funnel money to Democratic parties in 18 key battleground states to register voters and turn out the vote for Barack Obama and down ticket Democratic contests,” Lynn Sweet reports today.
“The ‘Committee for Change’ just as ‘Obama for America’ and the ‘Obama Victory Fund’ – is part of the effort to elect Obama. By forming a third committee, the Obama campaign can go to donors who have given the maximum under federal contribution limits imposed on the first two committees but have not totally ‘maxed out’.”
This is all perfectly legal, but Sweet notes that it’s also part-and-parcel of the consistently secretive nature of the Obama campaign that flies in the face of its rhetoric.
“While the names of the donors giving to this Committee for Change of course are reported – $1.89 million raised according to a September filing – its fund-raising activities have been done out of sight. The Obama campaign has championed transparency, and ‘they should not shy away from telling the public what they are doing,’ said Chris Holman, the campaign finance lobbyist for Public Citizen.”
An Obama spokesman spouted absolutely nothing but nonsense in response to Sweet’s query.
But what really caught my attention was this:
“Fantastic. Could not have been better. Hillary Rodham Clinton laid out the case to vote for Barack Obama better than he does himself,” Lynn Sweet writes.
“She offered the electrifying fight that the limpid Obama has not – setting off paranoia among Democrats that they had chosen the wrong nominee or that Obama had chosen the wrong vice president,” Maureen Dowd writes.
And most stunning, this from Kos: “But rising to the occasion, Hillary Clinton was perfect. I’m quite convinced she would’ve been our nominee had she voted against Bush war in Iraq, and she would’ve been a great nominee.”
You mean you wouldn’t have made her out to be a sleazy racist bitch had she not voted the same way Joe Biden did on the war?
A nice nugget from Lynn Sweet on Saturday: “Pfleger is the subject of a documentary being made by Chicago-based David Axelrod, Obama’s top strategist. On Friday, Axelrod told me in an e-mail that the film project has ‘been dormant for much of the last two years due to other commitments.’”
Working title: Irony Man.
More on Pfleger (and his weird apology on Sunday blaming YouTube) over at the Beachwood.
* It’s nice of Dan Seals to buy some voters’ gas, but I’d rather he paid my health insurance premium this month.
* Lynn Sweet writes of Barack Obama’s search for a running mate: “Obama is looking for, in broad strokes, someone with complimentary expertise.”
In other words, someone whose experience goes beyond eight years as a backbencher for Emil Jones.
* On the other hand, when John McCain says Obama has no right to speak out about a GI bill because he’s never been in the military, does that mean that McCain should abstain from debates about the farm bill because he’s never been a farmer?
I don’t think Barack Obama has ever said he was under sniper fire in a war zone, but he certainly has his own long list of exaggerations. Lynn Sweet returned to one of them over the weekend: his perpetual claim to professorhood. Not so.