The Campaign Spot

Daley on Obama and Ayers: ‘They’re friends. So what?’

The Chicago Tribune’s John Kass jumps on the story of Stanley Kurtz, the library at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and 132 boxes full of documents pertaining to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge – the project that Bill Ayers founded and Barack Obama chaired.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley offers his non-answer on whether the library, named after his father, should release the documents:

Bill Ayers—I’ve said this—his father was a great friend of my father,” the mayor said. “I’ll be very frank. Vietnam divided families, divided people. It was a terrible time of our country. People didn’t know one another. Since then, I’ll be very frank, [Ayers] has been in the forefront of a lot of education issues and helping us in public schools and things like that.”

The mayor expressed his frustrations with outside agitators like Kurtz.
“People keep trying to align himself with Barack Obama,” Daley said. “It’s really unfortunate. They’re friends. So what? People do make mistakes in the past. You move on. This is a new century, a new time. He reflects back and he’s been making a strong contribution to our community.”

Completely unmentioned is whether documents held at a state-run university’s library, about a project to reform and improve public school systems, relating to a public figure who wants to be the next president, can be withheld from the public’s eyes.
Also note that Daley says that “people do make mistakes in the past,” although William Ayers has never expressed regret for setting bombs in places like the U.S. Capitol and women’s bathrooms in the Pentagon.


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