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Posted by on Sep 3, 2008 in At TMV | 51 comments

The Lemonade Stand Fallacy

Lemonade Stand

I’ve written on the executive experience canard before.

But since GOP operatives insist on pushing this absurd line of reasoning to justify Sarah Palin’s “greater qualification for office than Obama or Biden (or presumably McCain)”, let me offer another frame of reference: Running a Lemonade Stand.

To run a lemonade stand you need to know where to place the stand, how to build a proper stand, how much lemonade mix to buy, where to find accessible ice, how to keep your water pitcher full, how much to charge, how many cups you need, how to advertise, and how to count. You need to be able to train your kid brother or sister in customer service. Yes, running a lemonade stand takes a lot of managerial acumen. Successfully pulling it off gives you the experience to run another lemonade stand, or maybe the beginnings of a kid-run carwash.

But does it prepare you to run a full-on convenience store? Can you run a Country Time Lemonade Distribution Company?

Well, if you have OTHER qualifications like general business skills, access to large amounts of capital, high school education (and likely college education), a business plan to grow and extend your business, and contacts outside your immediate neighborhood then yes, you could be promoted from running a lemonade stand to something much greater.

But absent those other major qualifications, your “executive experience” running a lemonade stand does not prepare you for the larger task.

The Lemonade Stand Fallacy: Just because you can “run something” at a lower level does not mean you are qualified to run something at a higher level.

As I posted in my previous entry on this subject, you need a vision, agenda and deep knowledge of national and international affairs to be President of the United States. Absent those, you are unqualified to move up from a lower level governance (or legislative) role. Absent those other qualifications, you fall athwart the Lemonade Stand Fallacy.

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  • jwest

    This is a good analogy and a valid point.

    Palin’s experience in a small town and later with the $12 billion Alaska budget doesn’t necessarily show that she can handle the trillions in the federal coffers.

    By way of comparison, Barak was able to piss through $150 million of Annenberg Foundation grants with absolutely nothing to show for it, besides enriching a Weather Underground terrorist.

  • superdestroyer

    elrod,

    Under your scenerio, the most qualified would be someone who has been a Chief of Staff at the White House. Yet, I do not think any of those individuals has ever been President or even run for President after having the job.

  • donsingleton

    If I was going to hire someone to run a full-on convenience store, and I had to choose between someone that had just been a community organizer, taught a class in college, and been in the legislature, or someone that knew where to place the stand, how to build a proper stand, how much lemonade mix to buy, where to find accessible ice, how to keep your water pitcher full, how much to charge, how many cups you need, how to advertise, and how to count, and had trained a kid brother or sister in customer service, I would go with the latter.

  • elrod

    Jwest,
    What are you referring to re: Annenberg Foundation grants?

    sd,
    A Chief of Staff could indeed be qualified if he or she had the political skills necessary to garner votes on his or her own behalf. Lots of top party bigwigs become politicians in their own right. Haley Barbour is one example (RNC chair though not Chief of Staff).

    The problem a Chief of Staff runs into is pivoting away from defending and managing somebody else’s agenda to working on behalf of one’s own. It’s possible, but it rarely happens.

    don singleton,
    You just mixed two metaphors. The comparison would be the second scenario (running a lemonade stand) and somebody who worked with neighborhood kids on how they could make lemonade stands and taught classes and made laws relating to making lemonade stands. Then the comparison is apt.

  • jwest

    Elrod,

    The documents are just coming out now that the University of Illinois has determined it would be impossible to hide them.

    Here’s a link to a JustOneMinute article that in turn, has all the related links to give you the background on this subject.

    http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2008/09/annenberg-ayers.html

    In a nutshell, the Annenberg Foundation provided money to a Chicago organization founded by the terrorist Bill Ayers. He hired Barak to serve as chairman and within 3 years they had dispensed all of the cash (some to another former Weatherman) without achieving anything.

    Most of the documentation shows the close working relationship between Ayers and Obama, totally debunking his “guy in the neighborhood” explanation of his ties with Ayers.

    Didn’t you guys vet Obama?

  • JSpencer

    jwest, I look forward to seeing this story unfold, since it’s not one I was previously aware of. We all benefit from the open free flow of information when making decisions this important – needless to say, that goes for D’s and R’s alike.

  • AustinRoth

    JS – this story does need to be looked at, but Obama’s links to Ayers have been an unspoken ‘secret’ in the MSM for some time. I doubt it will ever get the attention it deserves, and if it does, it will come from the Right, and the calls of ‘Swiftboating’ will drown any chance for a true investigation to occur.

  • pacatrue

    I think we can all agree on a couple things:

    1) Obama and Palin are both new to executing the large federal bureaucracy. Each has some qualifications that will help them do so, though of a very different variety, and they will now need to prove to the American public that those limited experiences will be sufficient. Neither Biden nor McCain has done so either, but their decades in the Senate give them more benefit of the doubt than Obama and Palin.

    2) There’s no one dimensional explanation of experience that will make one team great and one team lousy, which is what most partisans wish. If only executive experience is important, then Palin should be the top of the ticket and McCain should be VP. If only federal experience is important, then Palin shouldn’t be on the ticket (and neither should have Clinton, Bush Jr., or Reagan.)

    3) Most people are going to twist the facts as they need to make their team sound better. Republicans would be livid over an 18 month Democratic governor being put on the ticket, but are now going to be insulted and enraged (really) that Dems question a new Republican governor. Similarly, Dems would at least be questioning the hell out of a two year Republican senator being on the ticket (think Quayle). In the end, both candidates MIGHT be successful as Prez or VP but they have to prove it through-out the campaign now. Palin does have a disadvantage in that Obama’s had almost two years to demonstrate competence, while Palin’s only got a couple months.

  • jwest

    JSpencer,

    Like Austin said, this story has been out there for some time.

    I’m sure Joe, Elrod or Shaun will write an article about it, but it’s hard with all this Palin news breaking to find the time.

  • pacatrue

    One reason Ayers stories aren’t taking off, I would guess, is that almost every time you hear about their connection, the two of them are sitting on an educational board, some charity board, another non-profit…. It’s harder to get outraged about Obama’s activities when basically he’s trying to do good things with perhaps the wrong people. I’m also guessing it’s not taking off, because it sounds as if Ayers is firmly entrenched in the bigwigs of Chicago. The boards they are on together are not two-people boards. You’d end up saying 2/3rds of the politicians in Chicago are terrorist-supporters including many Republicans because they’ve all engaged with Ayers at some point.

    Scratch all that. I meant to say that it’s because the liberal media is withholding sensational information about a Presidential candidate, despite the vast money it would bring, because they are actively attempting to elect one candidate over another.

  • jwest,
    Saying Obama is somehow a terrorist because he’s worked with Ayers is like saying everyone in the Senate is a de facto member of the KKK because they worked with Robert Byrd.

    Everything I’ve read about Ayer’s post-Weather Underground political life in Chicago is squeaky clean.

  • elrod

    Is the Annenberg Foundation in question the Woods Foundation? If so, isn’t it already public knowledge that Obama served with Ayers at the Woods Foundation? I believe Hillary Clinton brought it up in a debate.

    As for what happened with the money, I have no idea.

    Ayers is an odd figure. He’s an unrepentant scumbag…and yet he’s a fairly respected educational activist in Chicago, along with his wife Bernadette Dorn. I was at Northwestern in grad school when a controversy came up around Dorn; she had “gone mainstream” in the educational establishment but her Weatherman past was haunting her. I didn’t pay it much attention because, well, I don’t really think much about the Weathermen these days.

    Richard Daley, not exactly a friend to the Weatherman (his father beat the crap out of them), insists that Ayers is a fairly mainstream educational activist in Chicago.

    To me, the key is why did Obama interact with Ayers. Was it because he shared Ayers’ old Weatherman radicalism? Or was it because of Ayers’ more recent – and fairly uncontroversial – educational work?

    I haven’t seen any evidence that Obama’s relationship with Ayers was all that great, regardless of Ayers’ recent activities. Serving on a board with him in 2000 and attending a fundraiser in 2001 is not all that controversial considering what Ayers does NOW. A deeper relationship between the two might mean that Obama needs to ask why he’d get in tight with an ex-Weatherman.

    I also wonder if these U of I papers would reveal much. You mention squandered money. That seems more of an assertion at this point.

    I’m all in favor of finding out. We have a right to know EVERYTHING about Obama’s past, just as we do Palin’s. We have a right to interrogate all of Obama’s relationships, including with shady people like Rezko, Ayers and Wright. We also have a right to ask about Palin’s connection with her nutjob pastor and the Jews for Jesus. And we have a right to know just how sympathetic she and her husband were for the far right Alaska Independence Party.

    It’s all fair game.

  • CStanley

    I’m all in favor of finding out. We have a right to know EVERYTHING about Obama’s past, just as we do Palin’s. We have a right to interrogate all of Obama’s relationships, including with shady people like Rezko, Ayers and Wright. We also have a right to ask about Palin’s connection with her nutjob pastor and the Jews for Jesus. And we have a right to know just how sympathetic she and her husband were for the far right Alaska Independence Party.

    OK, so why haven’t any questions been asked about how well Obama’s been vetted over the past, what, 18 months or so since Obama announced his candidacy, while it took you guys exactly 48 hours to start listing the ‘scandals’ of Palin that supposedly indicate that she’s damaged goods?

    I mean come on…you guys are pushing stories that either amount to personal smears on Palin or vendettas by state employees (whom she had every right to fire at will) as though they’re major scandals, and you haven’t even heard about the Annenberg Foundation?

  • amount to personal smears on Palin

    Her lack of experience, her lack of opinions on issues of national importance, her lies about opposing the bridge to nowhere… are those smears?

    …or vendettas by state employees (whom she had every right to fire at will)

    It can still be an abuse of power even if she has the right to do it.

  • AustinRoth

    It isn’t even the Foundation. Obama’s political and academic career seems to have started during a series of meetings at Ayers house, long prior to the Annenburg Foundation. Ayers appears to have been Obama’s original mentor. I am using ‘open’ terms, because again, no serous investigation (that I have found) can either confirm or lay waste to the rumors.

    All I can say is that the silence on his relationship with Ayers, who is ANYTHING but mainstream, has been deafening to this point. Frankly, I hope it is false, but I would like to see it addressed.

  • AR,
    FOX News brings it up all the time. Clinton brought it up. The McCain mentioned it during the multitudes-of-houses flap.

    I agree that we haven’t heard a lot of details, but at this point, I assumed it’s because there are none. It’s not like Obama has a dearth of people looking to bring him down.

  • AustinRoth

    pacatrue – how about a combination of (A) the hero-worship by much of the press towards Obama, combined with (B) a fear of becoming a pariah in your chosen career if you do investigate due to item ‘A’, a very good chance you would be labeled a ‘Swiftboater’, and the charges of racism that likely would get whispered behind your back?

    If I was a journalist, I wouldn’t go near this story either.

  • AustinRoth

    Chris – yes, that is what I am talking about. Mentions, rumors, snippets, but no real deep investigation by the MSM, no NYT story, nada with any depth at all.

    I am no conspiracy theorist thinking we have The Manchurian Candidate in Obama, but I would like to know the real story.

  • CStanley

    Austin- right, but the other issue with the Annenberg Challenge, as jwest pointed out, is the large sums of cash that were ‘invested’ in the educational initiatives, with no positive results to show for it.

    Chris: Those things are smears if only one side of the story is presented, while all stories on Obama are presented with an abundance of explanation for anything that could be a flip flop or sign of inexperience or other negative characteristic.

    Imagine, for example, the story Joe posted about the “McCain talking points on the Palin family.” Now imagine substituting “Obama talking points on Reverend Wright”. If that story during that time period had been presented exactly the same way on a right of center blog, what would your reaction have been?

  • Those things are smears if only one side of the story is presented

    What are the other sides to those things I mentioned? You haven’t been able to find any statements of hers about national policy. We have direct quotes from her in support of the bridge funding. Seems pretty cut and dry to me.

    Imagine, for example, the story Joe posted about the “McCain talking points on the Palin family.” Now imagine substituting “Obama talking points on Reverend Wright”.

    I can’t really imagine that. Democrats are notoriously bad at message discipline 🙂

  • Leonidas

    Lets put aside the Palin experience vs the Obama experience for a little while. Now lets take the McCain experience vs the Obama experience and match them up, after all those are the two men running for president. Does anyone here feel that Obama’s experience is superior to McCain’s? Just curious, as it is the most relevent comparison and the one that hasn’t been made much recently.

  • CStanley

    Chris: there really isn’t an ‘other side’ to the fact that she isn’t on record on foreign policy issues, it’s just the realization that that would have been the case with any other governor until they began running a campaign for POTUS or VP. Obviously she’ll have to go on the record now and then we can begin to examine her statements and views.

    As for the ‘bridge to nowhere’, she hasn’t lied about it- she did oppose it, but that was a flip from her earlier position of supporting it. She’ll have to answer for that now too, but it wasn’t a lie, it was a change in position.

  • jwest

    Elrod,

    My take on the Obama – Ayers connection uses the same standard as a court would use, the “reasonable man” standard.

    If Ayers had committed a crime decades ago, paid the price and was now even mildly repentant, such as “I’ve made some mistakes in the past” or “When I was young, I did some things I’m not too proud of”, a relationship with Obama would be a non-starter.

    Ayers, however, is very proud of his bombings and even now says he wishes he could have done more.

    The reasonable man question goes to why would an up-and-coming, want-to-be politician associate at all with a public figure that holds these views?

    This same standard can be applied to Rev. Wright.

    Chris Matthews on MSNBC said it best when someone told him that “Barak wasn’t in church when Rev. Wright said those things.”

    Matthews’ reply was “HA!, Let him try to sell that!”

  • CStanley,
    The fact that she has no record on national issues says more about McCain than her. And there are plenty of Governors who engage issues of national importance that don’t run for president. The Governator is a good example.

    Palin can certainly change her mind, but she’s lying if she’s pretending to be a crusader against earmarks and wasteful spending like the bridge. She was for it when it was politically convenient and now she’s against it, when it’s politically convenient. It wouldn’t even be an issue to me if the McCain camp wasn’t playing it up as the core of her fictional maverick biography.

  • CStanley

    Huh? What foreign policy positions does Ahnold subscribe to?

    Palin has engaged on national issues (uh, energy?) but mainly domestic ones, not international (though energy does play a part in that as well.)

    Hmm, funny there’s nothing here:
    Arnold Schwarzenegger on Foreign Policy
    Click here for background on Foreign Policy.
    No issue stance yet recorded by OnTheIssues.org.

  • CStanley,
    Ahnold has come out for a withdrawal timeline with regard to Iraq. He’s been pushing universal health care coverage in his own state. If it had worked there, you can bet your ass others states wouldn’t have been far behind, if not the entire country. He’s also on a crusade against greenhouse gas emissions.

    His philosophy for dealing with California could easily be shifted to deal with the entire nation. Alaska, on the other hand, is a very peculiar state. It’s small, it’s entirely funded by oil revenue and Federal handouts.

  • CStanley

    Chris: she isn’t just against the bridge NOW when it is politically convenient, she took a stand on it as governor. You aren’t trying to claim that it was politically convenient for the governor of a state to oppose that project, are you:? And if not, given how long the odds were for Palin to have been selected for Veep, wouldn’t it have been odd for her to ‘burn her bridges’ (heh) in Alaska in order to try to curry favor with the public for a national campaign?

  • CStanley

    Chris: So, as a populous state, healthcare is a big issue in CA and you’re right that policies there can be tested for possible expansion to the national scale. But each state has different issues, and Alaska’s is ENERGY in the form of oil and natural gas, and potentially wind. You don’t think that’s significant right now?

    And other than taking a stand on Iraq (which he’s been asked about, presumably, because he’s a media personality, while governors like Palin haven’t been asked to join the talk show circuit.) But how else has he shown any input into foreign affairs?

  • CStanley,
    Her ideas for energy might good. All I’ve seen so far is that she wants to drill more. Which is fine by me as long as we focus more on alternative sources at the same time.

    But I reject the idea that Alaskan politicians are uniquely qualified on that issue. They are swimming in oil. They look at it primarily as a source of revenue, so of course more drilling is better in those terms.

    To put it another way, would you look to Saudi politicians for tips on how to wean the country off of oil?

  • CStanley

    Well, I’ll be frank- I think you’re barking up the wrong tree to make an issue over whether she lied or flip flopped over the bridge. In my mind, the only real awkward part is that apparently she stopped construction of the bridge but used the money anyway for other projects. That strikes me as making political hay over something that wasn’t really as great of a move as it could have been, had she actually refused the earmark to begin with.

    I do feel there are plenty of other instances of her cutting budgets and acting as a reformer and with fiscal responsibility though, so it’s not a big deal to me. The bridge was always more of a political football type of symbol than anything else anyway.

  • CStanley

    I’ll refer you back to beldar on your point about energy policy:
    http://beldar.blogs.com/beldarblog/2008/09/palin-ahead-of.html

    And I’d presume that Alaskans, while wanting to exploit their fossil fuel resources to the benefit of their state, would have a bit more interest in what’s best for America than the Saudis would, doncha think?

  • jwest

    If you want to see some bridges to nowhere, drive through West Virginia sometime.

    Naturally, each bridge has the name “Sen. Robert Byrd” on it.

  • CStanley,
    Again, the McCain camp, presumably with her permission, has made the Bridge funding a centerpiece of her bio. Not me.

    That quote from the debate is admirable. I read it when you linked to it before. I’m just saying I don’t think she’s uniquely qualified because of her state to discuss energy. And even if she is, I don’t think that excuses her on virtually every other issue where she’s been a blank slate.

  • pacatrue

    Austin, MSM has run with lapel gate, sweetie gate, Rezko deals, and Revered Wright out the wazoo. What’s so shocking about serving on boards with Ayers that no one will go near it?

    Anyway, remember this stuff cuts both ways for everybody. I was with CStanley and Austin about many of the attacks on Palin, particularly the obviously baseless one about her last child.

    Actually, I’m not even sure what the story is supposed to tell. It seems to be a guilt by association thing. Ayers is bad, Obama hung with him, so he must be bad too. I guess that’s something. More interesting are insinuations that Obama and Ayers confiscated millions of dollars or gave it to cronies. That would indeed be an interesting story if there’s good evidence for it. So we are now supposed to think that the MSM composed of several thousand people who all compete with one another would universally refuse to look into Obama stealing or wasting tens of millions of dollars because they will lose their careers, but they will question him about flagpins on national tv?

  • CStanley

    I agree that they put the bridge issue front and center. Note that I’m not affiliated with the McCain campaign, and I think it was dumb to do that (though I presume they had to try to get out in front of it.)

    Also really dumb (laughably so) is the idea being floated by some McCain surrogates that she has foreign policy experience because her state borders Russia.

  • CStanley

    So we are now supposed to think that the MSM composed of several thousand people who all compete with one another would universally refuse to look into Obama stealing or wasting tens of millions of dollars because they will lose their careers, but they will question him about flagpins on national tv
    It’s called bias, paca. People buy into a candidate, and if everyone around you is also favoring him you suddenly start having to ignore things that could actually harm his chances and you rationalize any actual negatives that you might notice. As for questioning him on flag pins, it’s a win win for them because they get to look like they’re being tough on him while they also know very well that for a sizable percentage of voters, the issue is frivolous and makes it seem that the GOP is desperately attacking him on a non-issue and making it an assault on character, to boot.

  • Oh my… too funny. Peggy Noonan fans should appreciate this one: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/212920.php

  • pacatrue

    Okay, you all win. Journalists all over have strong reasons to believe that Obama’s an embezzler or something but they don’t really want to look into it because they are biased.

    I’m good.

  • pacatrue,
    And they believed everything the Republican president says about Iraq because they are the liberal-biased media.

  • Ricorun

    CStanley: Well, I’ll be frank- I think you’re barking up the wrong tree to make an issue over whether she lied or flip flopped over the bridge. In my mind, the only real awkward part is that apparently she stopped construction of the bridge but used the money anyway for other projects.

    Well, that’s certainly one awkward part. But the part in her initial VP speech where she claimed she told congress to take the bridge to nowhere and shove it — if we want a bridge we’ll build it ourselves (I’m paraphrasing, of course) was even more blatantly awkward.

  • DLS

    Never mind that it’s not a canard, and that Obama has no “canard” [sic] to his credit, unlike Palin. (Ironic — or hypocritical — that the candidate lauded for having little experience in Washington, as opposed to having been there forever, is now claimed to have more experience.)

    Y’all have to understand, that to the faithful of the messiah Obama, it is war against his opponents, and all is fair — there’s no “fair,” in fact, as we see routinely.

  • DLS

    I wonder how long it will be before the Obama-campaigning media actually resent this week’s GOP convention because the Palin selection for VP (which the media are treating, along with her, so much differently than they have treated Obama and his VP choice, unsurprisingly and unflatteringly), because McCain stole the post-Obama-lurid-spectacle “glow from the show” that was supposed to be all that was discussed until Monday and hopefully (among the media as well as other Obama campaign participants) overshadowing the GOP convention throughout this week.

    What are they going to do if Palin gives a good speech, and the same with McCain?

    What are they going to do if this becomes an incontestibly even contest between the two pairs of candidates (and the two parties) or even swings in McCain’s (and the GOP’s) favor — horrors! To what lower level will the media descend?

  • AustinRoth

    Paca – if all the did is ‘hang out’, agree, no story. If he is, or was for a significant time, Obama’s political mentor, then there is more to consider.

    A mentor is usually picking and guiding someone because of common goals and beliefs, and the mentor often needs a proxy when they themselves cannot run due many possible reasons, including ‘skeletons’. That is my only concern.

    If that turns out to be the same type of BS so much else has so far, that is great. But, until someone looks closely, how will we know?

    Let’s do the old ‘reversey’ thing – if Palin was mentored by Pat Buchanan, would you think that would be relevant?

    • pacatrue

      I know this is a 2nd page post now, so no one’s reading it anymore, but I was interested in Austin’s question to me, namely, “Let’s do the old ‘reversey’ thing – if Palin was mentored by Pat Buchanan, would you think that would be relevant?”

      My first thought was ‘no’. I guess I’m too trusting of people. I basically am assuming that all 4 candidates have good intentions and will keep assuming so unless I’m proven otherwise. In the end, I’m always more interested in what the candidate is likely to do when elected. I would be extremely interested if a candidate turned out to have a David Duke-like past and was a member of the KKK, but having a conservative mentor with whom I disagree… not so big a deal? It’s interesting, but I care more about plans for education, war, etc.

  • AustinRoth

    Paca – OK, you made a good point. David Duke is closer to Bill Ayers than Buchanan.

    Actually, I am having a hard time coming up with someone who used to bomb and kill police and other innocents within the US, advocated the violent overthrow of the US government, then went on the be ‘a respected mainstream’ member of the Right.

    If you think of one, use them instead, and tell me how comfortable you would be then.

  • CStanley

    paca, you seem to be incredulous that people would overlook potential wrongdoing in candidates that they favor. If that doesn’t happen, then how do you explain how local governments are often rife with corruption but the local media turns a blind eye, or even in the case of the Bush administration, how many of his supporters and more conservative media types refused to see any wrong?

    ‘See no evil’ is a very common part of human nature, especially if you become convinced that the ends justifies the means or if corrupt leaders are better than the alternatives.

  • CStanley

    Good point, Austin. Let’s take a hypothetical; Sarah Palin is obviously a staunch prolifer though in reality she doesn’t seem to be forcing that agenda in a divisive manner in politics. But given that that’s her moral and political view, would it be a problem if she were associated with a group that bombed abortion clinics?

    • AustinRoth

      CS – of course it would be a problem. Guilt by association is only a problem if you are on the Right.

      If you are on the left, as we see with Ayers, it doesn’t matter how repugnant your actions were, nor how unrepentant you may be, you are still a welcome part of the team, and it is wrong to criticize or even suggest that the level of involvement and association between them and someone like Obama, the Democratic Presidential candidate, should be investigated.

  • pacatrue

    I love how my saying that I like to see the best in both Republicans and Democrats is a flaw. OK, taken to extremes, it is. But, please remember that I’m never pushed a single Palin rumor or attack on this blog, or elsewhere, ever. I’m not the Left, I’m just me. I’m ignorant and ill-considered enough.

    Anyway, so, yeah, if Palin’s currently involved or was ever involved in a group which bombed anyone then we’d want to know. A wee bit relevant. But of course no one’s suggesting that Obama was ever in the Weather Underground (except for New Yorker cartoons). After all, he was 7? 8? The question is whether Obama is allowed to associate with such a person for fund raisers and non-profit boards.

    OK. I’m going to stop here. I’ve been hoping to write a guest post about evidence in politics, and this would fit in nicely with it. Essentially, I am reading one of Austin’s earlier comments now, where he brings up the issues of mentoring, which fits nicely in my mind with earlier worries about Reverend Wright’s influence on Obama, at least in my mind. So I will attempt to take this up that way, if it’s okay.

    • AustinRoth

      Paca – you are getting closer by the day to the core of my concern.

      Of course Obama was not part of the Weather Underground, and I never implied he was. It is the mentoring issue.

      There are some strong indications that he was mentored, at a critical, formative time in his career, not just by a member of the WU, but a founder and active participant in bombings. That person, to this day, is proud of what he did, has stated that publicly, and says his only remorse is that he didn’t do more.

      So, isn’t it fair to question what influences HE may have had? As I said, what reason would Ayers have for trying to create and encourage Obama as a viable political candidate? Just becuase Obama is half Black and intelligent, but not sharing significant core values? Unlikely, but possible.

      If we are concerned and willing to look at Rev. Wright, and Palin’s preacher (don’t know the name), her husband’s connection to a peaceful secessionist movement (again, we should), etc., why is it nuclear to talk about Ayers possible influence on Obama?

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