Host to Senator Obama at 4th of July BBQ, Ayers speaks out to RCP

WASHINGTON, July 4, 2013 ― Is there more than a passing connection between former 60’s radical turned respected Chicagoan Bill Ayers and President Barack Obama? Do we really care anymore? 

The question of just how well Chicagoans Barack Obama and Bill Ayers actually knew each other is one that does not seem to rest. Ayers is now a retired professor of education at the University of Illinois-Chicago. In the 1960s he co-founded the anti-Vietnam War Weather Underground group that bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and other buildings, creating fear through radical domestic terrorism.

SEE RELATED: Bill Ayers: Rahm Emanuel is a one-term mayor (VIDEO)

Bill Ayers wanter poster / file

Bill Ayers wanter poster / file

Due to Ayers’ continued radicalism, his connection to Senator Obama has always been a matter of curiosity, particularly to conservative media attempting to prove a clear connection.

Obama has denied any close ties to Ayers, even though they kept company in the same circles during Obama’s first Illinois senate campaign.

Records show that Obama and Ayers first met in March of 1995 at the Spencer Foundation in Chicago on the occasion of a Chicago Annenberg Challenge BOD meeting, and that they did serve on various boards together. Ayers made campaign contributions to Obama’s senate runs.

SEE RELATED: July 4: The alternative secret history of the world

After Obama announced his Illinois senate candidacy in 1995, Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, residing in Hyde Park at the time, hosted a fundraising coffee for the candidate.

In August 2008, in response to innuendo that Ayers served in some advisory role for presidential candidate Obama, USA Today wrote that, according to then campaign spokesperson Ben LaBolt, “The last time Obama saw Ayers was about a year ago when he crossed paths with him while biking in the neighborhood.” 

LaBolt said Ayers and Obama “have not spoken by phone or exchanged e-mail messages since Mr. Obama began serving in the United States Senate in January 2005 and last met more than a year ago when they bumped into each other on the street in Hyde Park.”

OF course this belies statements that Obama was seen at the Ayers-Dohrn home in July of 2005, which technically is neither a “phone or email exchange”.

LaBolt continued “The suggestion that Ayers was a political adviser to Obama or someone who shaped his political views is patently false.”  

In 2008, Ayers told Washington Post reporters that he knew Obama only slightly and that like “thousand of others in Chicago … I wished I knew him better.”

The question of the connection between the latent radical and the now president will, mostly like, remain an unanswered question. There are always hints, path crossing reports, and Ayers certainly speaks of his Hyde Park neighbor with authority, recently going on the record with Real Clear Politics (RCP Morning Commute video) to say that Obama should “absolutely” be tried for war crimes for his “terrorist” use of drones.

It must cause Ayers some cognitive dissonance to call for Obama to be tried for war crimes while also declaring, “I like him personally. He’s a really good guy.” That sort of emotional split might be normal in a man who has somehow managed to become part of the political and academic establishment of a country on which he inflicted acts of domestic terrorism. 

One unanswered question ― whether Obama did in fact spend Fourth of July, 2005, a holiday traditionally spent with close friends, family and political supporters, at a get-together at his neighbor’s home ― is finally answered. 

A former University of Chicago doctoral candidate, Dr. Tom Perrin confirms to Communities that he authored a now deleted 2005 blog post, first uncovered in June, 2012, in a exclusive, that alleges that then Senator Barack Obama attended a July Fourth barbecue at the home of Bill Ayers.

“It was a bunch of Ph.D. students.  Someone was house sitting” says Dr. Perrin about the barbecue he attended.

Asked if “somebody at the party spotted Mr. Obama at the house next door,” Perrin responded “yes”.

On July 6, 2005, while still a student, Perrin posted the following on his former blog, “Rambling Thomas”:

“Obama was at a barbecue at the house next door (given by a law professor who is a former member of the Weather Underground) and we saw him over the fence at our barbecue.  Well, the others did.  It had started raining and he had gone inside by the time I got there.  Nevertheless.” 

Perrin confirmed today that he posted the blog entry and that he stands by it. He reiterated that he did not personally spot Obama next door, but that others at the barbecue “were talking about” the senator’s sighting. 

Which means, at the end of the day, not much of anything; just an interesting bit of Fourth of July trivia on an otherwise slow news day.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Alan Jones

Alan Jones is an investigative journalist covering a wide range of areas.  He has worked in the financial industry and has lived overseas.


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