The Ace of Spades has an instant-classic YouTube attack clip which includes never-before seen footage of Barack Obama touting his experience in the Chicago Annenberg Challenge as a key qualification for national office. Of course, this was back in 2000 when he was contesting Congressman Rush's seat; today, there is nothing about Barack's failed attempt at school reform at his website.
Doug Ross provides the transcript and a few video captures but his presentation totally loses the impact of the ominous music - watching the clip I kept waiting for Freddy Krueger (or Bill Ayers) to jump out from behind a door.
A few quibbles - the video asserts that Ayers created the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and hired Obama. The record is clear that Ayers was instrumental in writing the grant proposal that brought the Annenberg money to Chicago, and it is an excellent guess that he was involved in hiring Obama. However, his specific role in hiring Obama has not yet been documented (we await the results of Stanly Kurtz's research into the archives of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge for more insight on that point. And a personal bete noire - on a slide mentioning the Woods Fund money that went to Barack's allies at mega-churches such as Jeremiah Wright's, Ayers is spelled "Ayres". Ahhhh!
Steve Diamond provides an excellent synopsis of the development of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and places it in the context of an ongoing tussle between the mayor's office and the Local School Councils. Here I noted the many prevarications and Obamafuscations that the Obama campaign and Obama himself have put forward to mask the Obama/Ayers connection.
Some open questions:
(1) why the current cover-up of something that was once a source of pride to Obama?
(2) what is the real tie between Obama and Ayers? The Times wrote just enough to cover themselves but did not push on this story or this angle, despite this provocative quote:
“Let me say the room had no shortage of egos, including my own,” said Stanley O. Ikenberry, a board member who at the time was president of the University of Illinois. “It was unusual: here you had a person trained in the law chairing a board on school reform.” Still, he said, Mr. Obama won his colleagues’ respect.
So why was Obama tapped as chairman? My guess - during a 1988 push for school reform his Developing Communities Project teamed up with the ABCs Coalition which was coordinated by Bill Ayers. This is just about the time Obama went back to Harvard but it is likely that the two men met then and resumed their alliance in 1995.
We know the Times will want to probe this after they resolve open issues about Ms. Palin's 4-H dues from 1971. Jim Geraghty has more on the Times priorities.