Raising the specter of Barack Obama’s ties with the likes of Bill Ayers is perfectly legitimate, and John McCain's only fault is that he didn't start sooner, writes Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post. These associations “provide a significant insight into character” and “are particularly relevant” for a candidate “as new, unknown, opaque, and self-contained as Obama,” he writes. But mention the links and the media bemoans “dirty campaigning tinged with racism and McCarthyite guilt by association.”
The Ayers, Tony Rezko, and Jeremiah Wright connections reveal two things about Obama. One: “his cynicism and ruthlessness.” He was willing to use unsavory characters to launch his political career. Two: while Obama doesn’t agree with Wright's or Ayers’ views, he “clearly did not consider these views beyond the pale,” Krauthammer writes. "For many years he swam easily and without protest in that fetid pond."