I am not sure what to make of the story that Ayers has now admitted to writing Obama’s autobiography. If it pans out, that is to my mind a very big story. Stay tuned. But I do think I should revise my earlier pooh-poohing of Jack Cashill’s effort to prove the Ayers-Obama connection. A while back, a close friend of mine (and a pretty famous person in NR land) harrangued me about how I didn’t give Cashill’s argument enough attention or consideration and that it makes a pretty persuasive case. This friend then walked me through it for a while and I was impressed. I’m still sure what the truth is (sic) but whether this latest story pans out or not, I figured I should at least withdraw some of my, uh, pooh-pooh.
Let’s take a few steps back.
Ayers told the blogger that he acted as Obama’s Cyrano because “Michelle asked me to.” That’s not even what Christopher Andersen suggests in his account of the Ayers story, which is partially sourced to original conspiracy theorist Jack Cashill.
Ayers also told the blogger that if she proved he co-wrote Obama’s book, “we can split the royalties.” If he’s referring to the royalties for the still-selling “Dreams From My Father,” we know that, well, he didn’t get any of those — check Obama’s Senate financial disclosure forms. This sounds a whole lot like a joke.
A reasonable explanation for this, if we take the heretofore-obscure blogger at her word for what Ayers said: Ayers was messing around with a conservative movement that’s been after him for a decade, putting them back on the trail of a fruitless conspiracy theory.
As to who told Goldberg that Cashill made a “persuasive case,” it could be anyone, but the evidence suggests it might have been NRO blogger Andy McCarthy or leftist-turned-conservative author Ronald Radosh, both big believers of Cashill. And I fully expect this story to break into the conservative TV media soon. Yes, it’s truly shocking to think that Ayers, a man who helped wreck the anti-Vietnam War movement by becoming a terrorist, would make such a miscalculation.
I’m trying to come up with a name for adherents of this theory. “Ayersheads”? Does that work?
UPDATE: I’m just seeing that James Simpson of Examiner.com–a conservative news site that pays bloggers for posts–interviewed the conservative blogger, who gave him a more detailed version of the story. Simpson’s convinced.
Was he, as she had asked, pulling our collective legs? Other sources report rumors that Ayers is very upset both about not getting any credit for helping Obama on ‘Dreams,’ and may also be put off by being summarily thrown under the bus along with Rev. Wright and everyone else who becomes an inconvenience to this President.
Well, if “other sources report rumors,” who can argue?