Yes. I believe that Barack Obama's connection with William Ayers matters. It matters a lot.
Yes, William Ayers was a member of a radical domestic terrorist group who bombed a number of buildings. Yes, he is unrepentant. Yes, Obama had to have known about Ayer's history.
But...is it really the connection between terrorism and Obama that is important (or even real?) Not really.
Obama's connections to radical leftists of all sorts of flavors is the concern, whether or not they were "terrorists".
Barack Obama's list of radical, liberal associates is varied:
- Jerehiah (God damn America) Wright
- William Ayers
- the "New Party"
When one choose to have associations with radical left-wing people or groups, it is generally because one has idealogical commanalities. The more you have in common with leftist idealogies, the more associations you have.
Ultimately, as with most elections, I think that the election will fall - not necessarily to Obama or McCain - but to the party that is liberal or conservative.
We tend to look beyond the problems with "our" candidate - if we are relatively sure that the candidate will stick to the party line.
When looking at McCain, we ask, "what party line will McCain stick most closely to?
When looking at Obama, we can also ask, "what party line will Obama stick most closely to?" This is where his radical associations are most important, because they give the best clue into his idealogy.