Everybody's coming out of the closet. So now it's my turn. I met, and knew briefly, William Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn, members, once upon a time, of the Weather Underground, which called for the violent overthrow of just about everything, though they were really, really incompetent when they tried to do it.
Dohrn and Ayers were among the leaders of the Weathermen, who organized something called the 'Days of Rage' in Chicago in 1969 (lots of broken windows). They bombed government buildings and police stations, not to great effect. Dohrn and Ayers married while underground, hiding from police. They had two children and wound up living in Chicago under aliases.
They went public in 1980, and that's where I came in. Dohrn surfaced in a broadcast at CBS News. I was the reporter and I remember we did the interview in New York's Central Park. People stared some, but she had been underground and was a famous name but not a famous face.
She and Ayers went on to respectability. At one point they ran a nursery school together. Northwestern University hired her as an adjunct professor of law in 1991. Ayers teaches education at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
And it was in that later, legal phase of their lives that Ayers and Barack Obama met. If my brief acquaintance with them disqualifies me from the presidency, that's good news. I never wanted the damn job anyway.
If it disqualifies Obama--should he have shot Ayers--couldn't turn him in, he was square with the law by then--that's more serious, because he does want the job and because that would change the standards for future candidates--you're out, Fred, you knew some bad people once.
As usual, thank goodness, the voters will decide.
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