Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.
It's not just his "most important executive experience", it is his only real executive experience. Yet he doesn't mention it or tout it. Why?
Well perhaps it is because of what the CAC did and aimed to do. His relationship with Bill Ayers aside (which any fair-minded person would conclude was more than casual), what was the CAC Obama chaired?
The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.
In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.
CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).
Over the years in which Obama chaired the organization and sat on its board, it gave 100 million in funds to these activists ostensibly to foster improvements in "education" among the poorer parts of Chicago. Instead it was really aimed at fostering radicalism:
External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC's in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement.
CAC also funded programs designed to promote "leadership" among parents. Ostensibly this was to enable parents to advocate on behalf of their children's education. In practice, it meant funding Mr. Obama's alma mater, the Developing Communities Project, to recruit parents to its overall political agenda. CAC records show that board member Arnold Weber was concerned that parents "organized" by community groups might be viewed by school principals "as a political threat." Mr. Obama arranged meetings with the Collaborative to smooth out Mr. Weber's objections.
Of course none of this is of interest to other MSM outlets.
They certainly seem to have little or no desire to dig into the Ayers relationship. There's too much gold to be dug out of the non-existent Alaskan Independent Party connection with Sarah Palin for them ever to take a serious look at the real extent of the relationship between Bill Ayers and Barack Obama or the real thrust of the CAC and its chairman for 5 years.
The Obama campaign has cried foul when Bill Ayers comes up, claiming "guilt by association." Yet the issue here isn't guilt by association; it's guilt by participation. As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago.
Marc Ambinder seems to only be concerned with Obama’s leftist accomplishments; the concern should be wider and consider why Ayers chose Obama for the position.
In the 50s, Stalin’s agents actually infiltrated Hollywood. They achieved little in the way of concrete accomplishments (i.e., they mostly failed at creating pro-Soviet propaganda), but they were still trying to achieve something.