Ayers, Rev. Wright Team Up for Middle East Peace
Obama's former liabilities joke about their roles
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 18, 2009 10:25 AM CDT
In this April 28, 2008 file photo, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., former pastor of Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks at the National Press Club in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – 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."