The ad may be pulled due, ironically, to McCain-Feingold restrictions on political speech. But it doesn't seem to be spreading falsehood. Everything the ad contains - Ayers' active involvement in bombing the U.S. Capitol, Ayers' affirmation of terrorism ("I don't regret setting bombs"), Obama's quotes about Ayers, and their longtime friendship - are all part of the public record. A bit of background research yields:
- WaPo Fact Checker Michael Dobbs basically concedes the facts, and wonders whether it will be politically relevant.
- Michael Barone for U.S. News & World Report runs down the history, casting light on the nature of the Obama-Ayers friendship ("the first organizing meeting for Obama's state Senate campaign was held in Ayers's apartment") and the nature of Chicago politics ("[Chicago] is a city with a civic culture in which politicians...'don't want nobody nobody sent.'")
- Obama's own website cites many articles giving their side of the story: Ayers is now an upstanding citizen, let bygones be bygones.
Ayers evidently helped Obama gain insider status in Chicago civic life and politics—how much, we can't be sure unless the Richard J. Daley Library opens the CAC archive.Incidentally, the Daley Library has agreed to release those records today. Stay tuned - reporters will have 140 boxes of records to parse, but a better picture of the nature and depth of the Obama-Ayers partnership may emerge today.