Established Ayers Board
October 8, 2008
by Seth Colter Walls
On Wednesday morning, John McCain's campaign released a list of 100
former ambassadors endorsing the GOP presidential nominee.
Second on the list, though her name is misspelled, is Leonore
Annenberg, currently the president and chairman of the Annenberg
Foundation and widow of ambassador and philanthropist Walter
Annenberg. Ms. Annenberg was herself the "chief of protocol" at the
State Department under President Reagan.
If the last name sounds familiar, it's because it also graces the
name of the Chicago education board where Barack Obama and William
Ayers sat in the room six times together.
In recent days, the McCain-Palin ticket (and particularly Palin) has
faulted Obama for having served on that board with Ayers, who was a
founding member of the radical 60's Weather Underground group when
Obama was in grade school.
Since then, however, Ayers has been rehabilitated in Chicago society,
carving out a niche in education circles. As a former Republican
representative in Illinois told NPR on Monday, smearing Obama for his
board association with Ayers is "nonsensical."
"It was never a concern by any of us in the Chicago school reform
movement that he had led a fugitive life years earlier ... It's
ridiculous," Republican Rep. Diana Nelson said. "There is no reason
at all to smear Barack Obama with this association. It's nonsensical,
and it just makes me crazy. It's so silly."
Separate calls to the Pennsylvania and California offices of the
Annenberg Foundation were not immediately returned Wednesday morning.
UPDATE: An Annenberg official called the Huffington Post back on
Wednesday afternoon. "You wanted to speak to Ms. Annenberg? She's
very elderly; she doesn't do press interviews."