Video: Olbermann: Ayers a guest in McCain’s glass house

By Keith Olbermann Anchor, 'Countdown'
updated 10/30/2008 9:17:05 PM ET 2008-10-31T01:17:05

Finally as promised, tonight's Campaign Comment and Rashid Khalidi.

And it is one thing—one stupid, cataclysmic thing—to try to slime your opponent because of his relationship with some guy, only to then find out that your own candidate has a stronger relationship with that guy.

But this graduates to the level of fatal political malpractice when the ultimate result of your effort to slime your opponent, is to in fact draw a parallel between your candidate, and William Ayers.

The huffing, puffing, panicky McCain noise machine has really done it this time. John McCain, and William Ayers, both gave money to this man Rashid Khalidi. Sen. McCain, you may want to get a pad and pencil here and write all this down.

I'm actually going to agree with William Kristol, when he wrote in the New York Times, that you should fire your entire campaign staff. In three short steps, while trying to link Sen. Obama to Rashid Khalidi; they have instead linked you to Rashid Khalidi and Bill Ayers.

Watch, Senator —

Step one: get the running mate who thinks she's smarter than everybody else to throw out the first pitch.

PALIN: It seems that there was yet another radical professor from the neighborhood who spent a lot of time with Barack Obama, going back several years. This is important, because this associate, Rashid Khalidi, he, in addition to being a political ally of Barack Obama, he's a former spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

Now Senator, if you're seeing that clip for the first time, take a minute to clean up whatever you were drinking, and whatever you hit with your spit-take. As you remember, Sen. McCain, Rashid Khalidi's also the guy you gave $448,873 dollars to, ten years ago.

When you were Chairman of the International Republican Institute, and Khalidi wanted grant money to spend in the West Bank, for his Center for Palestine Research and Studies.

As you know, Senator, $448,000 goes a lot further than friendship. You gotta tell Gov. Palin stuff like this, Senator. Unless, of course, she already knew, and said it anyway, which means that those stories about how she's stabbin' you in the back are just scratchin' the mavericky surface.

But to continue this long, dismal tide of self-destruction, Senator. That was step one.

Step two: Get the drumbeat rolling with the most over-rated strategist in the history of American politics, Karl Rove, on the echo chamber of choice, Fixed News.

ROVE: What bothers me about this is where was the McCain opposition research when this article came out last April that talked about Obama's presence at the dinner for Khalidi and mentioned in the story the tape. This would be a lot better if this drumbeat had been started last spring.

Senator, put the bottle down.

You may know all-too-well, and I may just be guessing, that Rashid Khalidi had to have come up last spring, but what used to be the cooler heads in your campaign said: ick-snay on the alidi-kay.

Because your campaign had to have known that you mainline directly back to him—and not just the $448,000 grant in 1998 but another series of other grants from your group to Khalidi's group in 1993, you'd know how much those were for; we haven't found out.

Yet. But, the smart folks are all gone now. All you got left are Sarah Palin and Karl Rove and Rudy Giuliani.

Steps one and two having been completed. He was step three. I know! Let's ask Rudy! He'll try anything. Honestly, Senator, I know you like this man, but, frankly, if he's talking about anything west of Hoboken, New Jersey, or anything more complicated than how to speed cross-town traffic, he's lost.

The problem is, when Rudy Giuliani starts talking Rashid Khalidi, not only is Rudy going down, but he's taking you with him.

GIULIANI: What I do know is that Khalidi has made Israel... he has a connection with the PLO... I believe Khalidi's wife was the translator... he has a very hostile view to the state of Israel ...and he was giving a party and Senator Obama said laudatory things about him... and Senator Obama and Ayers, sitting on the Woods board, gave something like $70,000 or $80,000 to Khalidi's organizations

Senator, Senator, Senator. Morals aside, this is the classic problem of guilt by association: Obama and Ayers gave Khalidi's organizations $80,000. McCain gave Khalidi's organizations $448,000.

Obama and Ayers. Obama and Ayers. Obama and Ayers and McCain. Obama and Ayers and McCain. Ayers and McCain. Ayers and McCain! So now, not only is Rashid Khalidi your problem, not Obama's. But now you're connected to Bill Ayers.

The only difference is who gave this nebulously nefarious guy with the Arabic name more money, you or Ayers? Golly, Senator, that'd be you by a figure of at least 5-1.

Which is also the ratio of your campaign's sleaze bombs that blow up in your own face.

Retire them, Senator, and this Clown College you have, before they "advise you" into trying to link Obama to the Keating Five or something. Because if you lose on Tuesday, Senator, you're going to have a long time to think about not only why you sold your soul, but why you sold it to these chowderheads. And if you win on Tuesday, you're going to go into office with more blowback sleaze on you than any president in our history.

And the White House is no place for a brain trust, consisting of very few brains, and nobody worth trusting. Hey, got an idea, Senator, maybe you should turn to a guy who evidently thinks like you, at least on funding Palestinian think-tanks. Maybe you could get some late help from William Ayers.

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