1. Why has he been covering this up before now?
Obama's campaign manager David Axelrod told The Politico in February that
"Bill Ayers lives in his neighborhood. Their kids attend the same school," he said. "They're certainly friendly, they know each other, as anyone whose kids go to school together."
Obama told George Stepanopolous during the Democratic debate in Philadelphia that
This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.
The so-called "Fact Check" at the Obama website does not disclose that Obama and Ayers worked together on a failed education reform project from 1995 to 2001, and had probably first teamed up on education reform in 1987.
ADDENDUM: In May the NY Times had this (my emphasis):
Mr. Obama also fit in at Hyde Park’s fringes, among university faculty members like Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, unrepentant members of the radical Weather Underground that bombed the United States Capitol and the Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War. Mr. Obama was introduced to the couple in 1995 at a meet-and-greet they held for him at their home, aides said.
Not likely - per the workings of the political calendar the meeting would have been in the second half of 1995. Obama and Ayers had surely met by March of 1995 when the Chicago Annenberg Challenge had its first board meeting.
2. Set aside the fact that Obama was a mere lad when Ayers was setting bombs; today Ayers is an unreconstructed hard-left radical with dramatic views on education and society - as he explained to Hugo Chavez during a speech in Venezuela in 2006, "La educacion es revolucion!"
Obama worked for five years with Bill Ayers on education reform while they were both with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Are we being asked to believe that, just as Obama initially claimed to have been unaware of Jeremiah Wright's views, he was also unaware of Ayers current radicalism?
Coming soon - "That's not the Bill Ayers I knew".
So why the cover-up? We can't know, since at this point we don't know the full extent of the Obama/Ayers relationship. But at a minimum, I expect that the campaign is uncomfortable with the reality that their man of almost non-existent executive experience was in fact chairman of a high-profile belly-flop in education reform. I doubt that soccer moms or anyone else will be thrilled to learn that Obama hung with unapologetic terrorists, talked about school reform, and achieved nothing.
MORE: Headscratching and huzzas from the right side of the blogosphere - no one can see how promoting this story helps Obama.
Here we go - Team Obama is filing with the DoJ to squash dissent.
Jim Geraghty is pleased that Obama characterizes Ayers as a "radical".
Jennifer Rubin calls it "the biggest goof yet".
AllahPundit says thank you to Team Obama.
THE AD: A transcript might be here at TIME but the page won't load for me.
NO RADICAL LEFT BEHIND: One of the first education reform grants made by the Chicago Annenberg Challenge was to former SDS leader turned Maoist Mike Klonsky, a friend of Bill Ayers from back in the day who had a blog at the Obama site until he was outed.