Look, I can understand why the McCain campaign thinks it's worth its time—its precious, 30-days-to-the-election time—to remind voters that Obama befriended Weather Underground worthy Bill Ayers. Here's a candidate with a Muslim name! Who knows a terrorist! Guys, this writes itself!
What I don't get is why Team McCain ignores evidence that the Ayers association leaves voters sort of confused and bored. On August 21, a 501(c)4 group launched a one-minute ad about Ayers. The American Issues Project informed press that it would spend $2.8 million running the ad in two swing states: Ohio and Michigan.
Michigan, Michigan… hasn't that been in the news? Ah, yes.
John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.
It's not like the Ayers attack fell totally flat. Obama's campaign had to spend money on an ad rolling back the attack. But it didn't spend much, and it didn't spend money in Michigan. If the Ayers story was having an impact, you'd expect it to move some number of voters away from Obama. It didn't. It's probably just too tenuous and complicated. (Obama's relationship with the man is neither, but as the AIP ad demonstrated, it takes a lot of time in the editing booth to go from "60s radical is friends with Obama" to "Muslim terrorists blew up the WTC.")
This is all a long-winded way of saying "read Jim Geraghty."
One has to suspect that Obama's ties to Wright, Rezko and Ayers — sounds like a law firm of evil — have persuaded just about all the voters that they're going to persuade. But Americans are furious over the financial mess, and eager to blame somebody. The McCain campaign would be doing the nation a service by spelling out exactly whose bad decisions helped get us into this mess and how.
You get the sense that McCain's camp is just too surprised that Obama is surviving the WrightRezkoAyers attacks to shake it off and adapt to the economic scene.