How has Barack Obama helped to redeem Bill Ayers's image?
That question was raised in a comment to yesterday's post.
The answer is simple: by bestowing legitimacy on Bill Ayers, on his views, and on his tactics.
Barack Obama has had a long, friendly relationship with Bill Ayers, and the benefits of that relationship have gone both ways. Ayers has helped raise money for Obama since the very beginning of Obama's political career. In return, the articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking Barack Obama has lent Ayers a degree of credibility that he never would have been able to attain otherwise.
Until recently, Ayers's chief claim to fame had been that he once played a role in bombing the U.S. Capitol. Now, it's that he is a Friend of Barack - the soon-to-be Democratic nominee for President of the United States.
When a respected and respectable public figure like Barack Obama befriends an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers, it's certain to have a more positive impact on the image of the terrorist than it does on that of the public figure.
If Obama had exercised better judgment in choosing his political and personal associates, we wouldn't be having this conversation. The fact that we are makes it likely that Bill Ayers is soon to become a household name. And that's even if - unlike Barack Obama - most of us won't be calling him by his first name.