McCain Campaign Trumpets Endorsement From Terrorist Supporter

The McCain Campaign is touting a list 100 former ambassadors who have announced that they endorse John McCain for President. Here’s a portion of the list:

The former ambassadors endorsing McCain are Weston Adams, Malawi; Thomas H. Anderson, Barbados; Leonore Annenberg, chief of protocol; Cresencio Arcos Jr., Honduras; George Argyros, Spain; Catherine Todd Bailey, Latvia; Howard H. Baker Jr., Japan; Douglas H. Barclay, El Salvador; Stuart A. Bernstein, Denmark; Everett E. Bierman, New Guinea; Julia Chang Bloch, Nepal; Stephen F. Brauer, Belgium; Keith Lapham Brown, Lesotho and Denmark; Richard R. Burt, Germany; George H.W. Bush, United Nations and U.S. Liaison Office (Beijing); William J. Cabaniss Jr., Czech Republic; Richard G. Capen Jr., Spain; Richard W. Carlson, Seychelles; Frank C. Carlucci III, Portugal; Bruce Chapman, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Sue McCourt Cobb, Jamaica; Charles E. Cobb Jr., Iceland.

Note one of the names above — I’ve highlighted it in bold — LEONORE ANNENBERG. Yes, the same Leonore Annenberg who, as part of the Annenberg Foundation supported the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, the notorious education board that hired William Ayers as a board member.

Why is the John McCain touting the endorsement of a person that put William Ayers on a charitable board? Sarah Palin should be denouncing this endorsement soon, right?

Really, this just goes to highlight the absurdity of the entire situation. For better or for worse, it’s clear that despite his deplorable past, William Ayers has become well-integrated into the mainstream political scene in Chicago–not just the far left scene–and has worked alongside members of both parties. As Seth Wells notes:

As a former Republican representative in Illinois told NPR on Monday, smearing Obama for his board association with Ayers is “nonsensical.”

“It was never a concern by any of us in the Chicago school reform movement that he had led a fugitive life years earlier … It’s ridiculous,” Republican Rep. Diana Nelson said. “There is no reason at all to smear Barack Obama with this association. It’s nonsensical, and it just makes me crazy. It’s so silly.”

Indeed. That the McCain campaign has latched onto this absurd guilt-by-association tactic is not only a sign of desperation, it’s an insult to the intelligence of the American people. It’s not like there aren’t any substantive grounds that McCain can attack Obama on. A McCain ad which compared Obama’s trade policy in the midst of an economic crisis to the Smoot-Hawley tariffs during the Great Depression would be both devastating AND contain a real critique of Obama’s bad policy on free trade. Why not hit on the issues? It’s not like there aren’t any to hit on.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Economics and Business, , , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    Don’t you thik you’d better do some investigation on Anneberg (the person) first, Alex?

    Example, did she bomb anyone?

  2. Anon says:

    Exactly. For example, I would love to hear a small-government proposal for how we can prevent this financial meltdown from happening again. So far, all he has done is talked about earmarks, which really just shows how completely clueless he is.

    Now, one can argue that the president doesn’t need to be an expert in economics, since he has advisers for that. Fine, so why hasn’t he gotten their input and formulated a plan?

    The Republicans need to show some leadership right now, to prevent a bunch of useless, burdensome regulation from being enacted.

  3. anjin-san says:

    Example, did she bomb anyone?

    Menachem Begin did. He became Prime Minister of Israel. (and a peace maker) Are you prepared to practice your principals Bit, and denounce Israel as a rogue state?

    People who live in the real world know its a little more complicated then that…

  4. Alex Knapp says:

    Example, did she bomb anyone?

    The exact same number of people Obama did, actually.

    Zero.

  5. Fence says:

    So far, all he has done is talked about earmarks, which really just shows how completely clueless he is.

    Actually, it only shows how clueless he thinks we are.

  6. Bithead says:

    As total a misdirection of an argument as I’ve ever seen. Congrats, Alex, you’re now the record holder.

    You know full well that nobody of any import has charged Obama with bombing anyone. The question however is his political connections with socialists.. and in Ayers case, a violent one.

  7. Alex Knapp says:

    Bithead,

    Then are you going to speak out against the McCain campaign because of their pride in accepting Leonore Annenberg’s endorsement? After all, she ran the foundation that put Ayers on the board. Going by your logic, the McCain campaign should repuditate her, right?

  8. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Why is the John McCain touting the endorsement of a person that put William Ayers on a charitable board?

    The question should be why is this man who gave Obama some “street cred” now endorsing McCain?

  9. For better or for worse, it’s clear that despite his deplorable past, William Ayers has become well-integrated into the mainstream political scene in Chicago—not just the far left scene—and has worked alongside members of both parties.

    You say that like it is a good thing. Hmm…, how much of a Republican Party presence is there in Chicago?

  10. Alex Knapp says:

    Charles,

    Of course I don’t think it’s a good thing. It’s just the way it is.

    As for the GOP in Chicago, I’ll wager there’s more than a few. Several Republicans worked on the Annenberg Challenge.

  11. Floyd says:

    Cute… Once again Facts over Truth.
    Reminiscent of the old back page comic book adds.
    “I can prove….[insert subject]…. Consider these facts….[lol]

    Disingenuous NONSENSE! Profound intellectual dishonesty.

  12. Steve Plunk says:

    This association with Ayers is material as it speaks volumes about underlying ideologies and convictions. If it were Ayers alone I could see giving a pass but Obama has a list of mentors and associates who are out of the mainstream and in the class of felons.

    So don’t argue Ayers alone. Let’s hear excuses for Ayers, Wright, Alinsky, Rezko, and whoever else might pop up as a bosom buddy of Obama.

  13. Alex Knapp says:

    Steve,

    Turnabout being fair play and all:

    This association with [Liddy] is material as it speaks volumes about underlying ideologies and convictions. If it were [Liddy] alone I could see giving a pass but [McCain] has a list of mentors and associates who are out of the mainstream and in the class of felons.

    So don’t argue [Liddy] alone. Let’s hear excuses for [Liddy], [Hagee], [Thurmond], [Keating], and whoever else might pop up as a bosom buddy of [McCain].

    Are you starting to see how absurd this is yet? It is a sad fact of the current system that politicians have to deal with scumbags in order to get things done. Every politician has shady associates. Are they really worth bringing up? Isn’t it really just a distraction from real issues?

  14. Hoodlumman says:

    Guys, guys… this is a perfect analogy. After all, McCain was close to Leonore Annenberg during his college years, he launched his political career from her house, wrote a forward for one of her books and served professionally with her distributing millions of dollars to progressive ideological schools!

    Spot on!

  15. sam says:

    A McCain ad which compared Obama’s trade policy in the midst of an economic crisis to the Smoot-Hawley tariffs during the Great Depression would be both devastating AND contain a real critique of Obama’s bad policy on free trade.

    That was a joke, right? I can see the commercial now:

    Deep Voice: The Great Depression.

    [pictures of breadlines]

    Deep Voice: The Smoot-Hawley Tarrifs–a bad idea that led to bad times.

    [more pictures of breadlines]

    Deep Voice: And now, Barack Obama’s trade policies — a replay of the Smoot-Hawley tarrifs.

    [still more pictures of breadlines]

    Deep Voice: Another bad idea that will lead to more bad times.

    Joan to Joe Sixpack: “I thought Smoot-Hawley was playing in Brandon this weekend.”

  16. brainy435 says:

    Alex, your example MIGHT work if any of McCains associates had started his political career, helped buy his house or been his mentor for 20 years. But, they didn’t. They are truly just people McCain dealt with, not people he forged lasting bonds with.

    Also, since Obama has absolutley no record we can judge him on, his associatiations have a much higher impact on the electorates opinion of him. Its rediculous to judge McCain on a few associations, because we can look at his decades long record and see if he has aligned himself with the ideals of those people. Can’t do that for Obama. And that would be true even if he weren’t actively trying to hide those associations from the electorate.

  17. I agree with sam on this one. I know what the Smoot-Hawley tariff was but I also took classes on the great depression in college, from a free market perspective. To think that people respond to a comparison like that is ludicrous, regardless of how true it is.

  18. cian says:

    Alex,

    I don’t think the problem is that the McCain campaign are questioning Obama’s associations. That’s fair game, just as its fair that the Obama campaign have pointed out McCain’s links to some dubious organizations and characters. Its the way they’re doing it that is problematic and is already starting to backfire. The story is becoming all about the anger witnessed at McCain/Palin events, not Obama’s associations, and the more they talk of Obama as a friend of terrorists, as someone ‘not like us’, the less presidential the ticket sounds.

  19. anjin-san says:

    see if he has aligned himself with the ideals of those people

    So McCain did not share the ideals of Charles Keating, he was just stroking him for free trips to the Bahamas?

    I wonder if the people who’s grandparents lost their life savings because of Keating feel better now…

  20. Alex Knapp says:

    Alex, your example MIGHT work if any of McCains associates had started his political career, helped buy his house or been his mentor for 20 years. But, they didn’t.

    McCain’s father-in-law, a convicted felon with ties to organized crime, did all of those things. Has McCain ever repudiated his father-in-law’s criminal acts, the way Obama repudiated those of people he was associated with?

    Also, of course, the way you stated those “facts” aren’t exactly factually precise, but I’m not interested in pointing out the minutae because this whole line of argument is STUPID.

    Obama is much more vulnerable on issues. 10 years to oil independence? Impossible. Tax cuts in a time of ballooning deficits? Absurd. His anti-free-trade mentality? Nonsense.

    But McCain hasn’t done any of those things.

    Also, since Obama has absolutley no record we can judge him on

    Just because you haven’t been bothered to look it up doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a record. He’s got a long voting record in the state senate and has introduced quite a bit of legislation in his time at the Senate.

    And that would be true even if he weren’t actively trying to hide those associations from the electorate.

    Hide them? They were in his books. He did an interview with Charlie Gibson about them yesterday. He talked about them with Bill O’Reilly. They took up a substantial amount of time in one of his debates with Hilary Clinton (the one moderated by Stephanapolous and Gibson). How is he hiding them?

  21. anjin-san says:

    Bit, I am waiting for an answer. Why don’t we take a look at this photo of President Reagan and Prime Minister Begin at the White House:

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/images/presidents/beginreag.jpg

    I remind you that the Irgun’s bombing of the King David Hotel killed almost 100 people, including British Troops and Officers. Begin was the leader of the Irgun.

    Are you going to denounce President Reagan for his associations Bit? Or do your attacks on Obama have nothing to do with principal? Just the expedience of the moment, eh?

    Begin at one time had a “dead or alive” price on his head from MI5. Yet he eventually became a respected national leader, peacemaker and a major player on the world stage.

    But that is in the real world, where you do not spend much time.

  22. Cernig says:

    Keating reportedly worked out of an office next door to the one occupied by the US Council For World Freedom, part of the Rev. Moon funded World Anti-Communist League and a group McCain sat on the advisory board of. The USCF was instrumental as the public front for Iran/Contra and has funded SouthAm dictators who used death squads to remove their opposition. It has been described as a haven for neo-nazis, anti-semites and fascists.

    McCain adviser Charles Black admitted to helping invite people to attend the Rev. Moon’s infamous D.C. coronation as “King of America”. And he was listed as a sponsor in the coronation’s printed program.

    McCain and his right hand lobbyist Randy Scheunemann were close friends with Ahmed Chalabi in the run up to the Iraq invasion. Chalabi has been accused of being a double agent for Iran and of turning US codes over to the Iranians. One of Chalabi’s closest and longest-serving aides was recently arrested by US forces in Iraq for involvement in special group attacks which killed US troops.

    Oh, yes, lets play guilt by association.

    Regards, C

  23. Steve says:

    Are you starting to see how absurd this is yet? It is a sad fact of the current system that politicians have to deal with scumbags in order to get things done. Every politician has shady associates. Are they really worth bringing up? Isn’t it really just a distraction from real issues?

    Alex,

    It is a real issue when you think that Ayers could be our next Secretary of Education. Politicians need to pay back those who got them into office. Ayers and the Chicago Democrats have been a major factor in getting a suit this far. Where better to spread his radical educational idiocy, I mean ideology than as SoE?

    An Obama presidency with majorities in both houses scares me to death. The radicals will be emboldened to push us further and further to the left. Three new radical liberal Supreme Court justices will be nominated and easily receive the Senate’s approval. The concept of “checks and balances” will be on paper only. Every aspect of American life will be changed for the worse in the next four years.

    That’s the real issue.

  24. anjin-san says:

    The concept of “checks and balances” will be on paper only.

    Will be? Guess you missed the Bush years…

  25. Bithead says:

    It is a real issue when you think that Ayers could be our next Secretary of Education

    Indeed.

    Note, particularly:

    That’s one of the things that’s actually annoyed me for about 40 years of being a progressive educator: the separation of the concept of progressive education from the concept of politics and political change. You can’t separate them…and this is a contradiction, incidentally, that goes all the way back to the beginning of progressive education and really the beginning of the conversations about the relationship between school and society.

    So much for the warm, cozy, and non-threatening description of Ayers as an ‘educational reformer’. His version of ‘reform’ clearly, and in his own words, is pushing socialism.

    This is the guy whose living room is the place of the starting of Obama’s political career.

    Bit, I am waiting for an answer. Why don’t we take a look at this photo of President Reagan and Prime Minister Begin at the White House:

    No, I think I’ll leave your comments as they are. They smell far too much of antisemitism (And idiocy) for me to even have to approach them for others to identifiy them as such.

  26. anjin-san says:

    They smell far too much of antisemitism

    Very weak, even by your own anemic standards Bit. Begin’s actions are historical fact. Discussing them does not have a damn thing to do with his religion. Is Israel immune from criticism because it is a Jewish state? Of course not. Any more then they should come under special scrutiny for that reason.

    In fact, your playing the bigorty card in a discussion that has nothing to do with religion smacks of exploiting bigotry for your own rather shallow reasons.

    You can hide behind a bogus charge of anti-semitisim, it is the kind of moral cowardice we have come to expect of you.

    You were the one who said “Example, did she bomb anyone?” Apparently your outrage over the use of bombs is restricted to when it can support your political views. So hide from a question you cannot deal with. Its who you are…

  27. Alex Knapp says:

    Steve,

    It is a real issue when you think that Ayers could be our next Secretary of Education.

    The odds of that happening are roughly the same as my odds of beating Michael Phelps in a swim meet. Do you honestly think that Obama would commit political suicide by doing something that monumentally stupid?

    Politicians need to pay back those who got them into office.

    History shows that this doesn’t actually happen. Besides, Ayers didn’t “get” Obama into office. Ayers hosted him a fundraiser in his house. G. Gordon Liddy hosted a fundraiser for McCain in his own home–I don’t see McCain nominating him for anything.

    The radicals will be emboldened to push us further and further to the left.

    I think you’ll find that American institutions don’t actually change that rapidly.

    Three new radical liberal Supreme Court justices will be nominated

    Really? Which Justices are retiring?

    and easily receive the Senate’s approval.

    The Democrats won’t have a filibuster-proof majority. Obama is going to have to nominate justices that aren’t too out of the mainstream.

    The concept of “checks and balances” will be on paper only.

    I doubt that.

    Every aspect of American life will be changed for the worse in the next four years.

    Yes, because the last eight have been awesome! Let’s hope that Republican dominance never ends!

  28. Bithead says:

    Very weak, even by your own anemic standards Bit. Begin’s actions are historical fact. Discussing them does not have a damn thing to do with his religion

    Incorrect, since the basis of the country IS the religion. And your insistance that the country and particularly it’s PM should not move to defend it strikes me as singularly lothesome, to say nothing of your shallow attempt at moral equivalence.

    But it’s certainly no surprise.

    To wit: What was Ayers defending?

  29. Billy says:

    I’ll say it again, please stop feeding the troll. His ignorance only grows as you respond with relevant information.

    If you must say something, stick to irrelevant personal attacks. Then at least you’ll be on the same plane of discourse.

  30. Nikolay says:

    And your insistance that the country and particularly it’s PM should not move to defend it strikes me as singularly lothesome, to say nothing of your shallow attempt at moral equivalence

    What did Begin’s terrorism have to do with defending the country of Israel? That country didn’t even exist then. Do you, in fact, have any idea about King David Hotel bombing? To defend that action and to claim that it was in some way better than what Ayers did (who, BTW, never killed anyone) is really an attempt at moral equivalence.

  31. brainy435 says:

    I’m not aware of McCains father-in-law ever directly helping McCain in any way… unless you mean to include Cindy inheriting her money. If you have anything to prove otherwise, I’m sure you’ll provide it.

    “Also, of course, the way you stated those “facts” aren’t exactly factually precise, but I’m not interested in pointing out the minutae because this whole line of argument is STUPID.”

    So, you don’t want to defend the indefensible? Understandable, though weak.

    Voting present doesn’t exactly qualify as a record.

    Outright lying by trying to paint a man he worked for and with for 2 decades as “someone who lives in my neighborhood” or whose “kids go to school with my kids” isn’t exactly in the hope and changey spirit he fraudulantly claims to want to bring to Washington.

  32. Alex Knapp says:

    brainy,

    I’m not aware of McCains father-in-law ever directly helping McCain in any way… unless you mean to include Cindy inheriting her money. If you have anything to prove otherwise, I’m sure you’ll provide it.

    Read McCain’s memoirs.

    So, you don’t want to defend the indefensible? Understandable, though weak.

    I’m not going to delve into the guilt-by-association argument, because it’s a logical fallacy and therefore stupid. You’d get flunked out of Freshman Philosophy for using the arguments the McCain campaign is trying to pull.

    Voting present doesn’t exactly qualify as a record.

    Less than 1% of his votes were “present.” Try again.

    Outright lying by trying to paint a man he worked for and with for 2 decades as “someone who lives in my neighborhood” or whose “kids go to school with my kids” isn’t exactly in the hope and changey spirit he fraudulantly claims to want to bring to Washington.

    By my count, they met less than 20 times over the course of those years. Two of said times were PANEL DISCUSSIONS. Good grief.

    John McCain worked much more often with Strom Thurmond, an unrepentant segregationist, for over a decade in his time in the Senate. Does that make John McCain a “segregationist sympathizer”? Sarah Palin’s husband was a member of the AIP. Does that make her a “secessionist sympathizer”? Of course it doesn’t. The whole line of argument is absurd.

    Obama’s plenty vulnerable on the issues. Why don’t you try that instead?

  33. Floyd says:

    “”Are you starting to see how absurd this is yet? It is a sad fact of the current system that politicians have to deal with scumbags in order to get things done””
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    At least this is true for congressional Republicans![lol]
    BTW; As you mentioned, McCain’s association with Keating and four DEMOCRATS was enough to keep me from voting for him in the primary.
    Then along comes the Democrat Party And makes it imperative that I vote for McCain in the election.

    If you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

  34. anjin-san says:

    And your insistence that the country and particularly it’s PM should not move to defend it strikes me as singularly lothesome,

    Ummm Bit? In 1946 there was no country called Israel to defend. Begin held no political office. These events took place before the founding of the Jewish State. Decades before Begin was PM. So do you want to rephrase that comment in manner that aligns it with reality? Amazon.com has history books, check it out.

    The Irgun executed two British Sargents bit. How do you feel about that? You know, the Brits. Our staunchest ally? What exactly did that have to do with defending anything?

    Incorrect, since the basis of the country IS the religion.

    Are you saying that any criticism of Israel or it politicians is then the act of an anti-Semite? They just get a free pass on everything? Does that make critique of any country that has a religious foundation an act of religious bigotry? What about Iran?

    Look at your own verbal attacks on Muslims. Certainly you attack Muslims in general for the violent actions of a few.

    Is Bit’s brand of religious bigotry good, while others (real or imagined) are bad? Really dude, I have come to expect all sorts of things from you. Irrationality. Disconnect from reality. Hatred of anything you do not understand. But you are starting to outdo yourself…

  35. davod says:

    “So don’t argue Ayers alone. Let’s hear excuses for Ayers, Wright, Alinsky, Rezko, and whoever else might pop up as a bosom buddy of Obama”

    You forget Obama’s mentor in Hawaii who was a communist.

    “Ayers did not kill anyone” Ayers was one of the leaders of the Weather Underground. The Weather Underground killed a number of people including two policemen. The New York cell blew themselves up building a bomb designed to blow up an NCO’s club during a dinner dance.

    The New York cell also attacked a New York judges home with four bombs. It was just luck that the family escaped.

  36. bains says:

    Coming from you Alex, this line of argumentation saddens me. I thought you above specious partisanship.

  37. anjin-san says:

    “So don’t argue Ayers alone. Let’s hear excuses for Ayers, Wright, Alinsky, Rezko, and whoever else might pop up as a bosom buddy of Obama”

    You know what Davod? No one is making any excuses for anything. McCain did not even have the ‘nads to say any of this to Obama’s face. He sends out a woman to do it for him.

    You and the rest of the gutless wonders can run along now. Take McCain with you…

  38. davod says:

    anjin-san:

    There you go again. I know it must be frustrating to see “The One” being exposed in this fashion. You would not have been placed in the position of supporting someone so obviously not qualified if the media had done its job in the last 18 months (It is the MSM who, in my opinion, are the gutless wonders.)

    You cannot refute the logic of my statements so you resort to name calling.

    PS: Take more time to read my post. I did not write what you quoted from my post (It was, after all in quotation marks).

  39. Steve Plunk says:

    Wow, you have to stay on top of things or your reply will be way down the list in nether regions.

    Alex, I understand your point about associations but with Obama we are talking associations that formed his character. Long term associations. Mentors, enablers, and so forth.

    Your examples related to McCain consisted of people who were around McCain but history has shown us they did not influence McCain. With Obama’s nearly blank slate we are left with looking at those who formed this political being. When we look there it’s ugly.

  40. anjin-san says:

    Take more time to read my post.

    Nah. Gave it all it rated.

    I know it must be frustrating

    Frustrated? LOL. Go look at an electoral map, then get back to me about frustration.

    Repeat. McCain lacked the guts to talk this crap to Obama’s face. He said he was taking the gloves off on Tues. He had a chance to do it with everyone watching. He passed, and is sending out a woman to do his fighting for him. End of story.

  41. od says:

    Most unaligned people look at the hypocrisy on both sides (like most politicians, both have some associations with unsavory people) and come to the conclusion that both are politicians and not worthy of respect. Partisans arguing that its different for their candidate are taken about as seriously as people arguing about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. Considering that half of eligible voters don’t vote in the first place, whoever wins the election is going to find that 3/4 of the population doesn’t trust them and certainly doesn’t seem them as their leader in anything but a strictly legal sense.

    What’s been happening the last few decades is that the presidency is seen as a purely partisan, political post rather than a national leader the country would unite around. The campaigns run by both candidates just makes sure that whoever wins this election will have a very hard job getting any sort of widespread support from the population.

  42. rpkinmd says:

    Why did Ayers appoint an unqualified Obama as CEO, especially if he hardly knew him? At the time Obama was green lawyer and had no educational or executive background?

    The casual association argument sounds too much like his I never heard Wrigth make those comments.

    Obama and Ayers don’t share a common terrorist idealolgy, they do share a radical Marist world view.

  43. Alex Knapp says:

    Why did Ayers appoint an unqualified Obama as CEO, especially if he hardly knew him? At the time Obama was green lawyer and had no educational or executive background?

    Ayers had nothing to do with it. In fact, during the Annenberg Challenge, Obama and Ayers worked on two separate committees. Obama was selected by the Annenberg Trust.

    Obama and Ayers don’t share a common terrorist idealolgy, they do share a radical Marist world view.

    Are you suggesting that they’re radical Catholics? 😉

  44. davod says:

    “What’s been happening the last few decades is that the presidency is seen as a purely partisan, political post rather than a national leader the country would unite around…”

    President Bush has been acting as a national leader over this. He could have used his bully pulpit to attack those in the other party who started this, but, to the detriment of those in his party running for office, he has not.