Have we heard the last of Ayers and Wright?

During last night’s debate, John McCain made no reference to the association of Barack Obama to William Ayers or Jeremiah Wright even though we had heard that McCain planned to use them.

From Politico:

After days of attempts to persuade voters that Obama’s ties to ‘60s radical Bill Ayers are a crucial character issue, McCain didn’t mention Ayers’ name during the 90 minutes of Tuesday’s forum. His top aides suggested afterward that, going forward, the candidate wouldn’t focus on the former domestic terrorist nor invoke the name of Obama’s controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.Nicolle Wallace, a top McCain adviser, hinted McCain would not bring it up. “If asked about it, of course [he’ll talk about Ayers],” she said.

McCain’s chief strategist, Steve Schmidt all but said the controversial pastor remained off-limits.“What Sen. McCain has said is that it’s not an issue he intends to talk about in the race,” said the aide, though he did note that Obama himself had called Wright ‘fair game.’

But Schmidt did say without prompting: “You’ve not seen Sen. McCain advertise on [Wright].”

Of course, Sarah Palin has done everything in her power to repeatedly mention Obama’s associations and they reached a crescendo the last couple of days with the cries of ‘treason’, ‘terrorist’ and ‘kill him’ from the McCain – Palin supporters.

Joe Lieberman said this week that McCain “didn’t like that approach (of bringing up Ayers). Senator McCain feels that same way about bringing up Reverend Wright through his campaign. And that’s the kind of line drawing that I think John McCain is all about.”

I’m guessing that Palin didn’t get this memo either since Lieberman went on Fox News Sunday and said that bringing up Ayers was ‘fair game.’ Now he is saying that McCain is against it.

Another possibility that caused McCain to back off of the Ayers and Wright references was those previously mentioned threats by the supporters. If some sort of violence would occur, it would be traced back to comments made. Maybe the McCain campaign realized that they cannot stoop that low.

Yet another possibility is that it doesn’t poll well. When the Hillary Clinton campaign referenced the association, response was unfavorable. I’m sure the polling done in the last week has indicated that this isn’t working with moderates.

Then again, just because the campaign is no longer planning on referencing Ayers and Wright, it doesn’t mean the 527 Groups will stay clear. We haven’t heard too much from the conservative 527 groups this year. The most popular 527 group was the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth which severely injured John Kerry’s 2004 presidential run.

I expect that we’ll see a couple of ads come from one of these groups.

And of course, as Nicole Wallace said, “if asked about it, of course” McCain will talk about it.

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2 responses to “Have we heard the last of Ayers and Wright?

  1. I am worried for the Obama’s and even for people who support Obama. This is frightening.