Thursday, October 9, 2008

On William Ayers, Obama and McCain

The Obama-McCain debate on Tuesday was largely uneventful. None of the two candidates really rose to the occasion. Both of them did a reasonably good job, but Barack Obama stood out as more calm, collected and cool headed. John McCain, on the other hand, appeared to be restless, too eager to make a point and, at least on one occasion, looked awfully rude when he referred to Barack Obama as “that one!”

However, what amazed me was not what was said in the debate, but what was not. After days of questioning Barack Obama’s judgment and readiness to be President, McCain was mum on that issue during the debate. You see, starting last Thursday the McCain-Palin campaign has been talking about Obama’s association with William Ayers, a Chicago professor who was once the leader of a terrorist organization. Palin even went as far as to claim that Obama is “palling around with terrorists” like Bill Ayers.

When asked how the Ayers association is relevant to the campaign, both McCain and Palin have said that it brings out Obama’s judgment and highlights the fact that he is not trustworthy to lead the United States. Now, those are some serious charges. Especially coming from someone like McCain, who prides on his honor and the campaign that always talks about putting country first.

The question, then, is this: if this issue is so important for the voters to know about, and if Barack Obama is indeed such a risky proposition for the United States, why didn’t McCain bring it up during the debate and question Obama directly? If McCain indeed puts country first and if this issue is indeed that important for the United states, why wasn’t a single word uttered about it during the debate?

The explanations may be many, but the answer is simple to me. Either John McCain doesn’t put country first or the Bill Ayers issue is deliberately blown out of proportion by the McCain Camp.

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