Getting Reacquainted With Old Friends

Despite the best efforts of the right-wing media, Barack Obama's connections -- real and imagined -- to Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers weren't quite enough to poison the electorate against Obama in 2008. In fact, even with brief mainstream media flare-ups and Sean Hannity's twice-daily Ayers-Wright harangues, not many people seemed to care at all when it came time to vote.

Now that we're on the precipice of 2012, Ayers and Wright are being dragged out onto the stage again, presumably in the hope that the guilt-by-association campaign that failed in 2008 will, three years later, finally catch on and bring Obama down.

And this might even be understandable were there new information to report on Obama, Ayers, and Wright. But there isn't. So the old storylines are getting a hasty spit-shine for the new election season.

“Exclusive,” announces The Daily Caller this morning, as they report on “video obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller” that “shows Illinois Senator Barack Obama, then campaigning for Democrats before the 2006 midterm elections, praising Reverend Jeremiah Wright and telling an audience that he 'stole' the title of his book 'The Audacity of Hope' from Wright's sermon of the same name, which he 'loved.' Obama also referred to Wright as 'my pastor.' ”

The video does indeed show Obama saying all those things, but the Daily Caller actually got scooped on this one. By Obama himself.

From page 356 of The Audacity of Hope:

It wasn't just the struggles of these men and women that had moved me. Rather, it was their determination, their self-reliance, a relentless optimism in the face of hardship. It brought to mind a phrase that my pastor, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., had once used in a sermon.

The audacity of hope.

So the Daily Caller obtained video of Obama saying something he had already written, and which everyone already knew. Not really an exclusive, but certainly a fine excuse for putting Obama and Rev. Wright in the same headline.

Meanwhile, Andrew Breitbart's reports this morning on a video in which Bill Ayers, in their words, “admitted he hosted a fundraiser at his home for Barack Obama in the 1990s.” According to BigGovernment: “This is likely the first time Ayers has been caught on tape discussing his connection to Obama.” Sounds newsy!

However, as Slate's Dave Weigel points out, news of the fundraiser “was broken by [Politico's] Ben Smith in 2007.” And here's a video of Bill Ayers' 2008 appearance on Good Morning America discussing his “connection” to Obama and the time he hosted Obama at his home.

Once again, no new information. In fact, it's all stale by several years. But they're still clinging to the hope that if they keep saying “Ayers” and “Wright” over and over, someone, somewhere will actually give a damn.