So as the Democratic nomination winds its way to the riot, er, convention in Denver, I'm wondering... what's the Magic Number? Barack Obama has attracted legions of followers in large part to his smooth stump speeches and "post-racial" appeals for Hope and Change. The more the media (finally) digs into Sen. Obama's background, however, more and more troubling information is coming to the forefront. Specifically I'm referring to the ever-growing list of, ahem, "troubling" advisers and associates the Senator has cultivated over the years. Obama has really piled up the anti-semitic/racist/america-hating friends since his early days as a young pol in Chicago. Let's list a few here:
1. Jeremiah Wright - The Senator's "spiritual adviser" has made plenty of news the past few months. With each new flash of honesty from the Senator and his wife, it becomes more and more clear that Obama actually was paying attention all those 20 years. I'm going with anti-semitic, racist and america-hating on this one.
2. James Meeks - Yet another Obama spiritual adviser saying some not-so-spiritual things. I'll just go with racist, with a bit of anti-gay thrown in for extra credit.
3. Michelle Obama - In theory this is the Senator's closest adviser. Is there really any argument she's an America-hater? How else would you describe someone who thinks America is "just downright mean" and was never "really proud" of the USA in her adult life until Barack ran for president?
4. Bill Ayers - Admittedly, not much is known about Obama's relationship with Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn. Ayers and Dohrn were members of the Weatherman, a terrorist group that formally declared war on the U.S. government in 1970. As Andrew McCarthy points out, the Obamas first met Ayers and Dohrn in 1995 when Barack's political career was just beginning. They haven't exactly distanced themselves from the former Weathermen since.
5. Rashid Khalidi - Bill Ayers and Obama, through their work on the board of the Woods Fund voted to give $75,000 to the Arab American Action Network, which Mr. Khalidi co-founded. In 2000, Mr. Khalidi hosted a fundraiser for Obama's unsuccessful House race. From 1976 to 1982, Mr. Khalidi is rumored to have run the press office for Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization, although he denies this charge. Khalidi has referred to Israel as a racist state with an apartheid system and has supported Palestinian attacks on Israelis. It's safe to assume this guy's anti-semitic.
These are just a few of the examples. Others include Samantha Power, Robert Malley, Michael Pfleger and Tony McPeak. At what point is it right to assume Barack Obama holds the same beliefs as his friends and advisers? Why else would he keep surrounding himself with these kinds of people? If he hits 15 anti-semitic/racist/america-hating associates, does that mean he believes these things? Again, I ask, what is the Magic Number?