"...We had the first coffee for Barack," Rabbi Wolf said.
The Republicans have been very effective in their smear campaign against Obama to always use the phrase "unrepentant terrorism" in reference to Bill Ayers, whether identified by name, or more recently as it's own stand-alone identifier.
There doesn't appear to be a single GOP or McCain statement coming out that doesn't include the words "unrepentant terrorist", regardless of what the main topic of the statement is. If nothing else, it has been their most consistent and effective line of attack, in print, radio, and in video advertisements.
The other line that is constantly included in this character assassination barage is the statement: "Launched his political career in the living room of an unrepentant terrorist." Just today, in the most recent statement from the McCain campaign, we see this line repeated again:
In 1995, Barack Obama launched his political career in the house of William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.
It is surprising that this smear is constantly allowed to pass by without being challenged. As of yet, we don't have a specific timeline of the several house or coffee gatherings that are mentioned as having launched Obama's political campaign, although we know that one of these did take place in the Ayers house:
It was later in 1995 that Mr. Ayers and Ms. Dohrn hosted the gathering, in their town house three blocks from Mr. Obama's home, at which State Senator Alice J. Palmer, who planned to run for Congress, introduced Mr. Obama to a few Democratic friends as her chosen successor.
This particular quote, which now seems to be the main reference for the attack, comes from Scott Shane's October 3rd, 2008, New York Times article, "Obama and a 60s Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths." Barely noticed or commented on, though, is the statement that followed this passage:
That was one of several such neighborhood events as Mr. Obama prepared to run, said A. J. Wolf, the 84-year-old emeritus rabbi of KAM Isaiah Israel Synagogue, across the street from Mr. Obama's current house.
"If you ask my wife, we had the first coffee for Barack," Rabbi Wolf said. He said he had known Mr. Ayers for decades but added, "Bill's mad at me because I told a reporter he's a toothless ex-radical."
"It was kind of a nasty shot," Mr. Wolf said. "But it's true. For God's sake, he's a professor."
So here is the one statement on this issue whereby a person who was involved in these first "coffees" claims to have hosted the first. Not William Ayers and wife Bernardine, but a Jewish rabbi by the name of A. J. Wolf. Would the emeritus rabbi from the synagogue across the street from the Obama's house have any reason to not tell the truth?
The Obama campaign, in one of its recent television ads, show a picture of a Ramada Inn where they state that Obama officialy launched his campaign. that, of course, would have been the first major public events. But it appears from the record that we have, that Obama launched his political career in the home of a rabbi.