Two of the toughest thorns in Barack Obama's side during the presidential campaign joined together in Chicago yesterday for the first time, the Tribune reports. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers shared a stage at a kickoff rally for a march for Mideast peace. It was their work on the issue, not their lightning-rod status, that got them invited to the event, organizers said. “We can't be squelching viewpoints because they are unpopular or because someone has a reputation through Fox News,” said one.
But that reputation may have helped the pair pull a crowd of 400. Wright scored a standing ovation for a speech which cited his church’s role in battling South African apartheid—a battle which featured figures “almost as toxic as Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright are in the age of Obama,” he said. And Ayers recalled feeling "support and solidarity" with Wright when he was labeled the "terrorist" and Wright the "fiery preacher."